FOXBOROUGH- The New England Patriots were dealt another decisive blow on the injury front Sunday, with the Boston Globe reporting that starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer has suffered a broken bone in his right leg and may be out for the remainder of the season.
The injury occurred roughly halfway through the second quarter; with the Patriots driving near midfield and still trying to establish the running game, Vollmer appeared to be rolled into at the bottom of a pile while throwing a block for running back Stevan Ridley. Sideline microphones picked up audio of the play, in which Vollmer can be heard screaming in pain.
Already dealing with the noticeable absences of defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and linebacker Jerrod Mayo, the team's best two players at the first two layers of the defense, New England must now face the likelihood of finishing the season without a crucial contributor to Tom Brady's protection. In a unit that had returned every starter from last season, the offensive line looked poised to be a cohesive and at times, dominating positional group heading into the season. In reality, inconsistent play has been a big factor in the overall ineffectiveness that the offense has displayed for extended stretches.
After having his leg placed in an air cast, Vollmer was carted off the field and replaced by third-year pro Marcus Cannon. Despite not having put together a full 60-minute effort offensively thus far, the Patriots defense has kept them in games and allowed them to find ways to win. With depth becoming a cause for concern across the roster, the offensive line is a unit that will bear watching in the coming weeks.
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