Stephon Gilmore appears to have dodged a bullet.
The injury that knocked Gilmore out of Sunday’s 22-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins was “not nearly as serious as it appears,” according to a report Monday by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
The New England Patriots cornerback appeared to suffer a potentially catastrophic knee injury when he crumpled to the Hard Rock Stadium turf without contact and needed to be helped to the locker room. But the injury actually was to another area of Gilmore’s leg and was less severe, per Rapoport’s report.
Gilmore still reportedly is unlikely to return this season — unsurprising considering the Patriots officially were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday.
?Based on where the Patriots are, out of the playoffs now officially, Gilmore (is) expected to be done for the regular season,” Rapoport said. “He?s going to have tests today on more of the thigh/quad area, kind of above the knee, just to see what is there, but certainly not something where it is an injury as serious as we thought.?
Veteran corner/safety Jason McCourty likely will take on a larger role in Gilmore’s absence. Second-year defensive back Joejuan Williams, who was a healthy scratch for Sunday’s loss, also could see his snaps increase.
The Patriots borrowed from Gilmore’s 2021 salary to give him a $5 million preseason raise, meaning the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year currently is expected to make just $7 million next season. Since that’s well below market for a player of his caliber, he almost certainly will receive a new contract this offseason, either from the Patriots or from a team looking to acquire his services.
New England closes out its 2020 schedule with home games against the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.