AFC East teams feeling pain

The Patriots have had some injuries of significance thus far — Jerod Mayo’s didn’t help, and Fred Taylor, Julian Edelman, and Sammy Morris are still on the shelf.

But take solace. The rest of the AFC East has been hit harder on the most serious list, injured reserve. A look at some big names that won’t be coming back for the Patriots’ rivals.

BILLS: Four starters are already on injured reserve: OL Brad Butler, TE Derek Schouman, LB Kawika Mitchell, and CB Leodis McKelvin. And that’s without getting into QB Trent Edwards’ concussion, or Paul Posluszny’s broken arm. Buffalo hasn’t been fortunate in this area.


DOLPHINS: The Dolphins’ best corner, Will Allen, just went on IR, meaning Miami will have the two rookies it likes quite a bit (Sean Smith, Vontae Davis) as the starters. QB Chad Pennington and TE David Martin are offensive starters there to welcome Allen to the list, and losing Patrick Cobbs — a big part of the club’s Wildcat package — didn’t help, either.

JETS: There are only two names of note here, but they’re a big ones. NT Kris Jenkins might be the team’s most indispensable player, and RB Leon Washington’s not far behind. The Jets’ depth will be tested, and players like DT Sione Pouha and rookie RB Shonn Greene really need to step their games up to fill the void.
Every team has injuries. It’s how you deal with them. The Dolphins won their first two games without Pennington. The Jets defense played its first game without Jenkins Sunday, and pitched a shutout. (Does it not count because it happened against Oakland?)
It’ll be interesting to see how these things affect the division race, particularly after what happened last year, when the favorite (New England) lost its quarterback and was unseated by a team (Miami) that stayed remarkably healthy.
It’s been said before, and it’s worth saying again: Injuries happen in the NFL, and part of building a team is how ready you are (read: depth) when those hit.

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