Well, this news doesn’t make a vulnerable New England Patriots defense any better. Second year cornerback Ras-I Dowling has been placed on injury reserve due to an ailing thigh injury.
This isn’t something of shock. It’s his second year being placed on the injured-reserve in his two-year career. He’s only played a total of 176 snaps in those two years, which is around three or four games combined. He’s only played in 8 game (started in 2), recorded 10 tackles (3 solo) and a pass deflection in his career due to his limitations on the field because of injury.
With Dowling out, that leaves the Patriots with only four active cornerbacks: Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington who’s struggled this year, Marquice Cole and rookie Alfonzo Dennard.
By being placed on injured reserved for consecutive seasons, some are ready to place the “bust” label on Dowling. He was selected 33rd overall in the 2011 NFL draft. Teammates Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley were drafted after Dowling and have provided the team much more than he has.
Luckily for this defense, the St. Louis Rams don’t have an outstanding passing game, as they have the 21st ranked passing offense in the league. But considering what Russell Wilson did to the passing defense, Sam Bradford may have a field day against the group.
It’s unknown whether Bill Belichick will dip into free agency to replace Dowling. Bringing up defensive back Malcolm Williams from the practice squad may be the move the team makes, but until then Dowling’s injury leaves a hole in this defense.