Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe is reporting that Patriots safety Rodney Harrison underwent an MRI yesterday morning that revealed a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament. Solomon cites two team sources as saying Harrison will miss the remainder of the season as typical recovery time from such an injury is 9 to 12 months. Harrison's agent Steve Feldman acknowledged that his client's knee injury could be career-threatening. The Patriots have not officially announced that status of Harrison's injury. Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald is also offering a similar report.
The Patriots apparently had some extra time to work with in the Steelers game. Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe and Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald write that according to the NFL, 52 seconds were added to the game clock early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's New England-Pittsburgh game. "The on-field officiating crew, which oversees the official game clock operated in the press box, failed to recognize that the clock was improperly reset," Pereira said. Solomon's article also offers an update on the injury to Patriots offesnive lineman Matt Light. Solomon cites team sources as saying that Light has a broken bone in his leg.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald offers his report card for the Patriots play during the Steelers game. Most aspects of the Patriots game received high marks. However, Felger gives a C grade to the offensive line which still needs to improve its run blocking to open holes for Corey Dillon. The running backs did show some improvement so he grades them a C plus.
Gerry Callahan of the Boston Herald draws comparison of quarterback Tom Brady to former Boston Celtics great Larry Bird.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald breaks down the play of rookie offensive lineman Logan Mankins and Nick Kaczur. Guregian writes that Nick Kaczur, who came in for Matt Light at tackle, and Logan Mankins, who has been the starter at guard all season, held the fort. They did a good job protecting quarterback Tom Brady from the Steelers' complicated blitz packages. "I'm sitting there seeing (Joey) Porter in a three-point stance, on third down, going against (Nick), thinking, 'Oh man, this could be ugly,' "tight end Christian Fauria said. "But you know what, Nick held him off long enough, and Tom threw it to an open receiver. . . . It wasn't picture perfect, but everything worked out good."
Ian O'Connor of USA Today offers a column about Adam Vinatieri's clutch performances in the toughest of situations. "Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are out there performing all the time," Vinatieri said. "As kickers, we're not out there much. Our teammates build the cake, and sometimes we're fortunate enough to put the icing on it."
Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal writes that throughout the Patriots run to three Super Bowl wins in four years, the Pats have lost plenty of stars to injury. This year's team will be without Harrison, Tedy Bruschi and possibly Light. That's a hefty dose of bad news, but this is a group that appears used to adversity. "We don't pride ourselves on getting guys hurt and still winning games," said 12-year vet Willie McGinest. "We need everybody. Guys that come in just have to step up. The rest of the guys have to keep playing well and do what we need to win."
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers high marks to whoever is calling the offensive plays for the Patriots. Curran writes that whoever it was -- whether its Bill Belichick, quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels, quarterback Tom Brady, or a combination of the three deciding which play gets run -- realized that the game had changed against the Pittsburgh Steelers. "We had the ball quite a bit," Brady said after the game. "We knew they were tired. If we could keep them on the field and keep the tempo up, we could get the pass rush (stopped) and I could have time."
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.