Patriots star linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, the team's prized free agent signing in an offseason spent upgrading the defense, will miss the rest of the season.
Colvin underwent surgery on Friday to repair a fractured left hip and is expected to make a full recovery. The team will place Colvin on injured reserve, which means he cannot return in 2003.
Head Coach Bill Belichick issued the following statement: "Rosevelt Colvin had surgery today to repair a fracture in his left hip, which was injured in the game against Philadelphia. He will be placed on injured reserve and is expected to make a full recovery."
It's a big blow to a defense that already lost safety Lawyer Milloy and linebacker Ted Johnson (broken foot). Colvin was the centerpiece of the team's revamped 3-4 front and was to be the featured pass rusher on the defense.
Willie McGinest will step into his role, but the Patriots could also play more 4-3 defense than initially planned. The team is down to four healthy, experienced linebackers with only Tedy Bruschi, Roman Phifer, McGinest and Mike Vrabel having logged significant game experience in the Patriots system.