The New England Patriots were dealt a crushing blow to their rebuilding defense on the injury front with the announcement that the team has placed starting cornerback Leigh Bodden on season ending injured reserve Tuesday.
Bodden, who tied for the team lead with five interception last season, has a significant shoulder injury (believed to be a rotator cuff injury), the team announced. Bodden has also been battling a knee injury which sidelined him earlier in the preseason.
Without Bodden, that leaves second year man Darius Butler, and rookie Devin McCourty as the probable starters at cornerback for Week 1. His roster spot may now go to Terrence Wheatley, who was on the bubble prior to this latest news.
The Patriots also placed safety Josh Barrett (shoulder), defensive back Brett Lockett (chest), and defensive lineman Darryl Richard (foot) on injured reserve. Defensive back Terrence Johnson was released as the Patriots cut down their official roster from 80 to 75 players.
The loss of Leigh Bodden (the veteran presence in a secondary full of youngsters) is a huge loss for the Patriots who have already lost defensive end Ty Warren and offensive lineman Nick Kaczur for the season. Stay tuned for more news on the Bodden injury in the coming days.