The New England Patriots’ defensive line depth took a hit on Sunday. Tackles Davon Godchaux and Daniel Ekuale both went down in the second quarter against the New York Jets and were later ruled out to return.
Godchaux suffered an ankle injury during a run play. On the very next snap, Ekuale hurt his elbow.
Both were evaluated on the sideline and initially announced as questionable to come back into the game. They were eventually ruled out at the half.
The Patriots had entered the game against the Jets with seven defensive linemen on their active 48-man roster. Besides Godchaux and Ekuale, they also had Christian Barmore, Deatrich Wise Jr., Lawrence Guy, Keion White and Sam Roberts available; Barmore was listed as questionable entering the game due to a knee injury.
While the Patriots do rotate their D-linemen based on situation, losing Ekuale and especially Godchaux — the team’s starting nose tackle — is a blow. That is especially true against a Jets offense willing to invest in running the football on a rainy day.