n news that will completly change the scope of things on the defensive side of the ball, it looks like linebacker Adalius Thomas is done for the season with a broken left forearm. ESPN.com’s Michael Smith reports:
New England’s win over Buffalo Sunday came with a significant loss.
Linebacker Adalius Thomas, who has started all nine games for the Patriots and is tied for the team lead with five sacks, suffered a broken left forearm in the first half of the Patriots 20-10 win, according to sources. The sources believe the injury is likely season ending.
“It’s not good. He’s probably done [for the season],” said one source.
This is probably the worst possible injuries the Patriots could suffer on defense (Vince Wilfork being the other), and the best we can hope is that Thomas will not be out for the whole year, and will be able to return for a playoff run. In the mean time, however, Thomas is out, and his loss will change the scope of the Patriots’ defense.
He has played the most snaps of any Patriots defender this season, as plays in all packages and sub-packages (as in coverage and base defenses). With Thomas out, Pierre Woods will likely slide into the starting position. Look for rookie Vince Redd to be promoted from the practice squad. It’s a shame that Shawn Crable is out for the year, because this would be the perfect opportunity for him to take over Thomas’ role in many of his pass rushing and coverage responsibilities.
The Patriots may also look externally. There are two names I can immediately think of. Rosevelt Colvin and Junior Seau. While re-signing Colvin had never really made sense, it does make perfect sense now. Colvin, if healthy, is a great pass rusher, and can also play in the nickel and dime sub-packages. Junior Seau might also be an option. While I don’t see him as an outside linebacker anymore, he could move back inside, and Gary Guyton or Jerod Mayo, who both played multiple linebacker positions in college, could get some time on the outside.
With the loss of Adalius Thomas, it’s not really a question of what you can do to replace him, because you really can’t. The real question is, what can you do to best match some of the things he does, as in who can try to take over some of his pass rush and coverage responsibilities.