The New England Patriots were lucky in the first two preseason games to escape any major injury. But that luck ran out on Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers.
Linebacker Brandon King appears lost for the season after going down on a punt return shortly before halftime with a leg injury. The linebacker was carted off the field in the second quarter, acknowledging the crowd after about 20 teammates and former Patriot Chris Hogan came out to wish him well.
He was diagnosed with a torn quadriceps and is likely out for the season, according to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe. It’s a blow to the Patriots special teams’ unit as King has been a core member of that group since arriving in Foxborough.
King’s injury now opens up a coveted roster spot on defense and special teams that will likely go to Nate Ebner who was on the bubble.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
One of the risks in getting starters reps during the preseason is injuries. New England’s opponent Carolina looks to have escaped what could have been a massive blow with quarterback Cam Newton exiting the game after spraining his foot.
King was one of eight Patriots to be injured during Thursday night’s preseason game. Here’s the early prognosis on the rest.
The veteran tight end, who is suspended for the first four games of the season, was placed into concussion protocol following a late hit from Carolina safety Eric Reid. It was interesting that those two had a coming together on the field after Watson tweeted at Reid earlier in the week.
Kyle Van Noy
This one was scary and for a moment, Gillette Stadium held its collective breath. Van Noy came up limping after a sack and immediately it didn’t look good. But after seeing the training staff and working it out a little, Van Noy returned to the game. The injury, fortunately, wasn’t serious but it’s yet to be seen if it flairs up in the days following.
There’s still not much word on what exactly happened to Harris. He went down with an injury in the second quarter and stayed on a knee for awhile before walking off under his own power. At the outset, Harris was one of a handful of players listed as unlikely to play but did appear for five snaps.
The former Division II cornerback had his best game of the preseason with four punt returns for 63 yards. But all the excitement turned to concern when he got up a little wobbly after making a catch. It looks like he’ll be ready to go next week, avoiding long-term injury.
Other Minor Injuries
Stephen Anderson, Nate Ebner, and Lance Kendricks also had minor injuries throughout the game. Kendricks got up and was ready to rejoin the huddle but the athletic trainers had already rushed onto the field. Meanwhile, Ebner returned to play following his injury and after doing sprints on the sidelines.