What's a Patriots game without an injury to a key player?
This week's winner is Adalius Thomas, who is out for the season with a broken forearm. After a relatively injury-free 2007, the injury bug appears to be working double in 2008. Thomas is the fourth starter to be lost for the season, joining Tom Brady, Laurence Maroney and Rodney Harrison. Granted, Thomas was only the third of those players that served any real value to the team, but hey, a starter's a starter.
This time, it appears that, unlike the Brady and Harrison injuries, there won't be speculation on whether the Patriots will pursue free agent replacements. Belichick has made it clear that they prefer to promote from within the team, and that more injuries means more minutes for starters and backups.
The injury is a big one, especially to a starter as prominent as Thomas, on a unit that was at its strongest all season. Belichick has shown his ability to make up for personnel losses, however, and this season has demonstrated that ability more than any other so far.