When a team gets a run of injuries at a certain position -- forcing it to sign veteran players who are more prone to injuries -- the results can sometimes be costly from a financial perspective.
The Patriots' situation on the offensive line is one example.
In need of bodies along the offensive line, the team signed 32-year-old Anthony Clement on July 21, a few days before training camp started. Later in camp, on August 2, veteran Barry Stokes (34) was signed.
Both players are now on season-ending injured reserve -- Clement due to a knee injury and Stokes with a back ailment.
The moves ultimately cost the Patriots some salary cap space, as Clement will be paid a split salary of $345,000 and Stokes a split salary of $320,000 (assuming neither player gets an injury settlement).
This is one example why teams often talk about the importance of developing young players, especially along the line of scrimmage. Relying on veteran players who haven't been part of a team's offseason program comes with added injury risk.
The salary cap hit won't necessarily handcuff the Patriots, but a salary payout of $665,000 is still significant.