With today's news that OLB Rosevelt Colvin has been placed on season-ending injured reserve due to his foot, the Patriots' linebacker corps figures to undergo a shuffle.
Colvin played outside linebacker in the 3-4 set opposite of Mike Vrabel. After he was injured in the third quarter Sunday night, the Patriots moved Adalius Thomas from inside to outside linebacker, and inserted Junior Seau next to Tedy Bruschi inside.
Now the Patriots must answer a few important questions:
Are they comfortable with the 38-year-old Seau and 34-year-old Bruschi in full-time roles on early downs? They had essentially been splitting snaps.
Will Thomas, who played mostly inside linebacker on early downs for eight games before getting some work outside, make a more permament move to the outside?
Are younger players like second-year man Pierre Woods (outside) and third-year player Eric Alexander (inside) ready to see playing time in either the base defense or on third down? If not, newly signed Chad Brown must step in.
Do they play more of a 4-3 alignment, taking a linebacker off the field and adding defensive lineman Jarvis Green?
These will be some areas to watch in the days ahead.