Such is the case for the first place Patriots, who are likely to go with Mike Wright as the injured Jarvis Green's replacement for the next 2-4 weeks. Green underwent knee surgery during the bye week and may be out until December.
Wright isn't your typical bench player as he enters Week 9 with a team-most four sacks and has 17 total tackles through the team's first seven contests.
The fifth-year trench menace has played 61 games for the Pats since 2005 but has started just 10 of them. Wright has emerged as a go-to defender this season, largely due to the loss of Richard Seymour to trade, but also because of his versatility — an asset Bill Belichick yearns for from his players. The 6-foot-4, 295-pounder has bounced around from right end to nose tackle and proves to be equally effective in either a three-man or four-man front.
"I've been playing a little bit more there this year since Seymour is gone and Jarvis is over there, and I've been backing up Jarvis," Wright told ESPNBoston.com. "It's been good. I've been getting a lot of reps over there in games and it's been helping me out. I've been a lot more comfortable over there."
Wright made headlines earlier this season and it wasn't because of a big play or crucial stop. Wright was slapped with a $5,000 fine from the NFL after making contact with the helmet of Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco.