The New England Patriots are 5-2, but question marks still surround the AFC East leaders as they enter the season’s midway point.
Linebacker Jerod Mayo and running back Stevan Ridley were put on injured reserve after both left last Thursday’s game against the New York Jets with season-ending knee injuries. Also injured is defensive end Chandler Jones, who’s battling a hip injury that reportedly will keep him out of commission for about a month.
The Patriots acquired linebacker Akeem Ayers from the Tennessee Titans to help fill the defensive void. However, Ayers isn’t without his own injury concerns as he had surgeries on both of his knees this past offseason.
The Patriots’ next test, the Chicago Bears, have an unimpressive 3-4 record that should be taken with a grain of salt. They possess a plethora of offensive weapons that can expose the decimated New England defense, such as the receiving duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, along with Matt Forte, who’s on pace to shatter the NFL receptions record for a running back.
Listen to NESN.com Patriots beat writer Doug Kyed and MassLive’s Kevin Duffy discuss these topics and more in this week’s Patriots Podcast.
Photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images
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