Rodney Harrisonisn't the only injured player the Patriots need to replace. They're also dealing with the loss of running backs Laurence Maroney and Sammy Morris. Maroney is out for the season while Morris might not play this weekend after injuring his knee in Monday's win.
“Once a guy goes down, you know your workload is going to increase a little bit more, so you have to take that pride in what you do and lift it up,” running back Kevin Faulktold the Boston Globe.
Speaking of which, the Patriots are ready to move on from Harrison's injury rather than feel sorry for themselves. They don't have time to do that with St. Louis coming to town this weekend.
“We’re not going to sit here and have a pity party,” cornerback Ellis Hobbstold the Boston Herald.
The Patriots have soldiered on without several key players in the past and expect to do the same this season. They're 4-2 entering Sunday with three of their next four games at home.
“If you can’t deal with injuries in professional sports then you’re not going to be around for very long because injuries happen all of the time,” tight end Ben Watsontold the Providence Journal.
The logical replacement for Harrison is second-year pro Brandon Meriweather, who leads the team with three interceptions.
“He’s getting to the ball and making plays,” Hobbs told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
The Patriots are confident Meriweather can fill the void since he has already been a key part of the defense throughout the season.
“They’ll have to play more, but I don’t think they’ll be doing anything they haven’t been doing,” head coach Bill Belichicktold the Quincy Patriot Ledger.
However, the players realize it's impossible to duplicate Harrison's leadership and expertise.
“Talking about replacing somebody like 37, that just doesn’t happen,” fullback Heath Evanstold the New Bedford Standard-Times.
The news out of St. Louis is similar in that the Rams are worried about their own injured running back. Steven Jackson's status for Sunday is in doubt after the veteran tailback suffered a thigh injury in last weekend's win over Dallas.
“We’re still going to see what’s going to happen for Sunday,” Jackson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Rams are also preparing for what kind of look they'll get from New England's running game, which won't feature Maroney, a St. Louis native.
“That’s why we have the other players available on the roster. When their number is called, then I'm sure they’ll be well-prepared,” Belichick told the Post-Dispatch.
Conversely, the Rams should get a boost offensively with the imminent return of tackle Orlando Pace, who missed time with a right leg injury but has practiced all week.
"Everything is good," Pace told the Belleville News Democrat.
Speaking of injuries, the *Herald *spoke with a doctor at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center about the condition of quarterback Tom Brady, who suffered another setback in an attempt to contain an infection in his surgically-repaired knee.
“Often, if you’re concerned about an infection, you clean the knee out as many times as it needs to be cleaned out,” Dr. Arun Ramappa told the Herald.