FOXBOROUGH — Injuries really piled up for the Patriots on Sunday in their victory over the Dolphins at Gillette. It was almost too hard to keep track during the game, so here are my thoughts now that I’ve had time to review film at home:
Nate Ebner: On the first drive of the game, Ebner took a direct snap on a fake punt play. As he ran past the first-down marker on the Patriots sidelines, however, he took a few awkward steps and went down in pain, dragging himself off of the field. It seemed to me that he was clutching his left knee as he went down. Video replay shows that Ebner sustained a left knee hyperextension injury. The best-case scenario for an injury like that is a bone bruise. The more concerning possibility is an ACL tear. (Of note: video also shows the right knee collapsing slightly into a valgus position on Ebner’s next step, which can be a cause of ACL tear, but it seemed like Ebner was grabbing at the left knee as he went down. We’ll have to wait for news on this one.)
LaAdrian Waddle: Waddle had his right leg rolled up on during a run-blocking play in the fourth quarter. The replay video was somewhat obstructed, but it shows him getting hit in the lateral aspect of the right leg, most likely causing either a medial or high ankle sprain. Waddle was seen leaving the locker room in a walking boot, which indicates more than a mild sprain. This could be more than a one-week injury for the tough right tackle.
Trey Flowers: Trey Flowers was a victim of Flowers-on-Flowers violence late in the third quarter. As Trey sacked Matt Moore for the second time, teammate Marquis Flowers came across to help wrap up the quarterback and kneed Trey in the ribs. Trey spent a good deal of time speaking with reporters at his locker after the game. He was smiling and didn’t seem to be in a significant amount of pain. Reports are that no fractures were seen, so this could be a pain tolerance situation.
Marquis Flowers: The linebacker appeared to injure his right knee as he made contact with Trey Flower’s ribs in the third quarter. He limped off of the field with what was likely a knee contusion. He later returned to the game.
Kyle Van Noy: Van Noy appeared to sustain an injury to his right lower leg. Most likely a strain of one of the lower leg muscles - he was grabbing at his calf. After the game, the linebacker walked with a very slight limp, no brace on the leg. Hopefully a minor injury.
Tom Brady: Brady’s Achilles didn’t appear to be an issue today, his mobility looked fine. Mention was made of him grabbing his hand after one of the many hits he took today, but for the remainder of the game he looked fine. At his post-game press conference, Brady said he’d be ready for practice on Wednesday.
Trevor Reilly: Was knocked from the game with a helmet-to-helmet collision on the second-half kickoff and did not return. Will likely be in concussion protocol this week.
Dr. Jessica Flynn is a sports medicine physician at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, MA. She writes about injuries in professional sports on her blog, DocFlynn.com. You can follow her on Twitter @jessdeede.