Banged-Up Patriots Must Buy Into ‘Next Man Up’ Idea Now More Than Ever

Stevan RidleyThe New England Patriots are in a familiar position.

The injury bug bit the Patriots hard last week, as they lost linebacker Jerod Mayo and running back Stevan Ridley for the season. The Patriots also saw lineman Dan Connolly go down with a head injury.

Now what?

Life in the NFL is all about adjustments and adapting. Whether the Patriots can do that in coming weeks will be a large factor in how much success they’ll have this season. The coaching staff needs to make the necessary adjustments, and other players — the “next man up” — must step in and adequately fill voids.

“As is often the case in so-called ‘next-man-up’ scenarios, it doesn’t usually happen when it’s most convenient for you or your team,” former Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham wrote on his blog FootballByFootball.com. “Each of the previously mentioned injuries were in-game surprises, so Next Man is thrust into a game where his skill-set might not fit what the game-plan currently in motion calls for.”

Read more from Matt Chatham on “Next man up” >>

Photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images

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