Patriots Veteran LB Designated to Return Soon

Getty Harvey Langi

The New England Patriots‘ linebacker group and special teams unit is getting another body back. The team designated veteran LB Harvey Langi to return from injured reserve.

The 29-year-old has appeared in 7 games this season–even starting one contest. While he has the ability to fill-in at a couple of spots from scrimmage, Langi’s primary contributions come on special teams.

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To be specific, Langi has been on the field for 114 snaps and 98 of them have been on special teams. Quite honestly, if Langi is playing too many snaps from scrimmage, your defense is probably not in a good space.

However, as a special-teamer, his presence holds a lot more weight.

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Patriots Have Been Bitten By COVID-19 and Injury Issues

Week 13’s matchup with the Buffalo Bills is the biggest game of the season for both teams. The Patriots come in on a six-game win streak with a half-game lead in the AFC East.

A Patriots win would give them firm control over the division and send a massive message to Buffalo and every other good team in the AFC. Unfortunately, New England could be without several key members of the defense.

Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Dugger and Ronnie Perkins weren’t present at practice. The players will have another day to improve considering their game is Monday, but Dugger hadn’t cleared health and safety protocols as of Saturday afternoon.

If Hightower is unable to go and Langi is activated, there is a chance the latter could see a few snaps in relief of Ja’Whuan Bentley and Jahlani Tavai. This week’s game clearly isn’t an ideal one for this opponent, but as usual Bill Belichick will do his best to push his group.

Patriots’ Keys to Victory

Bills quarterback Josh Allen has done a fantastic job making plays in the middle of the field. Whether it’s hitting slot receiver Cole Beasley or making plays with his legs when things break down, Allen is deadly between the hash marks.

However, he has had a tougher go of it this year when compared to last season. Allen threw 10 interceptions and 37 TDs in 2020. He’s already thrown 10 picks this year through 11 games.

The Patriots must get consistent pressure on Allen to force him into some bad decisions with the ball. If he tries to escape the pocket, New England must contain him and limit the splash plays the quarterback can make with his legs.

If New England can keep Allen and the Bills’ offense off the field, they will drastically increase their chances of coming away with a crucial victory and control of the AFC East.

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