Oh my my....
A team that relies on versatility, especially in its linebacking core, simply can not afford another key injury to arguably the most versatile backer on the roster - can they?
Even prior to the reported injury to AD -draft pick Shawn Crable was done for the season - and even more pressure was placed on undrafted free agent Gary Guyton (who has more than impressed in making the most of his playing time) and LB backup Pierre Woods.
Lets put it in perspective ... If (and I'd bet a 5th rounder they will) the Patriots stick to their historical 3-4 scheme, we could see two rookies, and veterans Mike Vrabel and Teddi Bruschi starting Thursday night against the jets. I imagine this will mean Vrabel will be asked to cover the Tight End?
So the question is... will the Patriots be able to get pressure on the quarterback? Giving QB's like Brett Favre and Payton Manning time in the pocket is like trusting a politician in November - you'd have to be nuts!! Right??
Yet somehow faith in the Pat's has been maintained by their fans.
As the health problems add up more and more, a team that has historically relied on veteran leadership on and off the field must now look to its young stars.
There are of course reasons to be hopeful... right?
Jerod Mayo has played at a godly level thus far, and will be asked to do even more with a depleted defense loosing another key component (Several sources report Adalius Thomas likely done for season with broken arm).
Matt Cassel continues to mature, and if he could string a few wins together now against AFC East opponents, the Patriots may just be sitting pretty and playing the Steelers for a playoff bye - and a home playoff game - at the end of November...
So who knows? Maybe this young core is capable of the unexpected - as a New England sports fan we have learned to expect that very thing.
After all, in the NFL - all you have to do is make the playoffs, and then it is any ones game.