According to a report from the Boston Herald, the hip injury that is currently sideling defensive end Chandler Jones could force the pass rusher to miss the rest of New England's regular season.
Citing a source, the Herald says the Patriots are "prepared for an extended life" without Jones.
The Herald reports that a best-case scenario is that Jones could miss six weeks and potentially return for a Week 13 matchup with the Packers in Green Bay. "But with the extent of the injury, those around Jones already have discussed the possibility his regular season could be washed out, according to the source."
The Patriots have very limited depth at the defensive end position, a year after Jones and Rob Ninkovich played nearly every snap for the New England defense. Veteran free agent signing Will Smith was cut in training camp and second-year player Michael Buchanan is already on IR.
Rookie Div. II player Zach Moore is expected to see his reps grow in Jones' absence. First-round pick Dominque Easley may also see his role grow/alter, although he's dealt with his own knee and shoulder injuries. Former third-round pick Jake Bequette remains an option on the practice squad.
But it's certainly a big blow to the Patriots defense to lose Jones, the team's leading sack man last fall with 11.5, for any period of time. The remainder of the season would be a potentially devastating blow.
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