The New England Patriots’ 2021 season came to a disappointing end, courtesy of a 47-17 blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills in the wild card playoff round. There is little to feel good about from New England’s point of view after that game; the fact that the team came out of it relatively healthy is one of the few positives.
Let’s take a closer look at the game to find out who was dinged up and what it might mean in the grand scheme of things.
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley: After being on the field for 18 of the Patriots’ first 19 defensive snaps, Bentley left the game due to an arm injury. He jogged to the locker room and was initially announced as questionable to return; he later was ruled out for good. In his place, fellow linebacker Jamie Collins saw extensive action.
DT Christian Barmore: The Patriots’ standout rookie did not appear to suffer a new injury during the game, but he looked uncomfortable at times when on the field. Barmore entered the contest as questionable due to a knee injury suffered the previous week, and ended up playing 33 of 56 defensive defense. However, he occasionally still seemed to be bothered by the issue.
What this means for the Patriots
With their season now over, the Patriots will not release an injury report until September. Any predictions about Ja’Whaun Bentley’s or Christian Barmore’s long-term outlook or the severity of their respective issues would therefore be pure speculation at this point in time.
That being said, the first phase of offseason workouts will not get kicked off until mid-April. Bentley, Barmore and the other players dealing with ailments — New England had 13 listed on the injury report plus two more in Covid-19 protocols — therefore have plenty of time to rest and recover, and get themselves ready to go for when Patriots start their 2022 preparation.