New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, a league source confirmed Tuesday. The Boston Globe first reported the severity of the injury on Tuesday. The Patriots have not placed Faulk on injured reserve yet, but all indications are that his season is over.
“They’re still working on it. I think part of it is how things come around in the next day or so,” head coach Bill Belichick said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday, when asked about Faulk’s injury. “We’ll see how things go in the next day or so and based on how that is, then make a decision at that point.”
When asked later whether that decision could be made to place Faulk on season-ending injured reserve, Belichick said he didn’t want to speculate. He said the first decision when assessing the status of an injured player is whether he will be available for this week’s game.
Faulk was knocked out of Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets in the fourth quarter after an 8-yard run, and members of the team’s training and medical staff were looking at the area around his right knee. Faulk is one of the toughest and most durable players at his position in the entire league, and his ability both as a receiver out of the backfield and between the tackles on draw plays will certainly be missed by the Patriots offense.
Losing Faulk could potentially be a tough blow to the Patriots, who traded running back Laurence Maroney to the Broncos last week. Faulk has played more snaps than any Patriots running back in each season since 2007, and is most often on the field in three-receiver sets because of his ability as a pass blocker and outlet receiver.
A 12-year veteran, the 34-year-old Faulk is one of the Patriots’ four captains. He is the longest-tenured player on the team.