NFL New England Patriots

5 New England Patriots Players Who Need To Get Healthy Over Bye Week

1 of 6

Five New England Patriots Players Who Must Get Healthy Through Bye Week

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone knows that injuries are apart of the game when it comes to professional sports. They occur at a rapid rate, especially in the NFL. Players are almost bound to go down with all of the fast-paced, hard-hitting play. Injuries are certainly not an excuse, but it definitely hurts (no pun intended) when key players go down for awhile.

This has been the case for the New England Patriots all season long. First it was Rob Gronkowski, who had to recover from five combined surgeries on his forearm and back. He missed the first six games of the regular season. Even though the Patriots went 5-1 in that span, it was definitely safe to say that missing the best tight end in the league certainly hurt the offensive production.

Then we have the case of Danny Amendola, who is one of the most injury-prone players in the league and lived up to his reputation in 2013. He has missed four of nine possible games, battling a groin injury and a concussion. To make things worse, Amendola was paid to be the no. 1 wide receiver on the team.

Last, but not least, multiple Patriots defenders have been lost for the season. First it was Vince Wilfork, who tore his Achilles. Wilfork was the best run defender on the team. Then Jerod Mayo went down, causing the Patriots to lose a veteran inside linebacker who was also the defensive play-caller. Tommy Kelly was the next one to hit injured reserve. He was the best interior pass rusher on the team.

That said, there are multiple players who are injured but are expected back soon. Let’s break down the top five players that need to come back.

2 of 6

5. Tavon Wilson, S

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Wilson’s presence is needed as depth due to Steve Gregory’s injury. As for Gregory…

3 of 6

4. Steve Gregory, S

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

He was doing so much on defense (defending the run, playing safety and linebacker, calling the defensive plays) that it’s hard to replace him.

4 of 6

3. Rob Ninkovich, DE

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Ninkovich is hard to replace as well because of the amount of turnovers that he causes, particularly strip sacks.

5 of 6

2. Shane Vereen, RB

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Vereen looked to be the best running back on the team before he went down. At the very least, he could come back and serve the role of an elite pass-catching running back in this offense.

6 of 6

1. Aqib Talib, CB

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The secondary has not been the same without Talib. His return would help shore it up, as Talib is a top-five player at the cornerback position right now.