FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced that they have placed their four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law on injured reserve today. He will miss the remainder of the postseason. The Patriots now report 52 players on the team's active roster.
"We are disappointed for Ty," said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. "He has worked extremely hard to return this season and we all hoped it would happen. But, unfortunately that will not be the case."
Law, 30, started the first seven games of the 2004 season at left cornerback for the Patriots. He sustained a foot injury in a game at Pittsburgh on October 31, causing the 10-year veteran to miss the past nine games. He helped the Patriots to a 6-0 start, the best in franchise history, and ranked fifth on the team with 25 solo tackles before leaving the Pittsburgh game early in the first half. He entered the season needing just one interception to tie the franchise's all-time interception record, a feat he accomplished at home against Seattle on October 17. He finishes the 2004 season with 26 tackles, one interception and three passes defensed. He now has 648 career tackles, including 549 solo stops, four of which were for sacks. He is now tied with Raymond Clayborn for the franchise record with 36 career interceptions, but own the team record for return yards (583) and interceptions returned for touchdowns (6).
The Patriots drafted Law in the first round of the 1995 NFL draft out of Michigan with the 23rd overall selection. The 5-foot-11-inch, 200-pound corner started became a starter by midseason and finished his rookie campaign starting seven of the 14 games in which he appeared. He quickly developed into one of the league's elite cover corners. In 1998, he led the NFL with nine interceptions and was voted to his first Pro Bowl. In 2001, he intercepted three passes during the regular season and returned two of them for touchdowns. He added another in the postseason when he intercepted a Kurt Warner pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown in a 20-17 victory over the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. It was the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history. He earned his second trip to the Pro Bowl after the 2001 season. It was the first of three consecutive trips to the all-star game. In 2003, he led the Patriots in interceptions for the fourth time in his career and played a critical role on the league's top rated defense in points allowed (14.9 ppg), opponents passer rating (56.2), interceptions (29) and fewest touchdowns surrendered (11). In the 2003 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium, Law intercepted Peyton Manning three times to help the Patriots secure 24-14 victory and their second conference championship in three years. The Patriots went on to defeat the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII.