Patriots

Report: Patriots’ Matthew Judon, Christian Gonzalez out ‘indefinitely’ with injuries

Both Gonzalez and Judon exited Sunday's loss against the Cowboys due to injury.

New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9) walks off the field after an injury against the Dallas Cowboys during an NFL Football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2023.
Matthew Judon exited Sunday's loss against the Cowboys with a reported biceps injury. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

The Patriots reportedly will be without their two most impactful players on defense for the foreseeable future.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez and veteran linebacker Matthew Judon are both expected to be out indefinitely after getting injured in New England’s 38-3 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday.

Schefter reported that Gonzalez injured his shoulder, while Judon suffered a lower bicep tendon tear against Dallas. Both are seeking second opinions as the Patriots try to regroup what has already been a battered defensive unit ahead of a Week 5 matchup against the Saints.

Reports earlier on Monday signaled that both Judon and Gonzalez were going to land on the shelf for some time, but an indefinite recovery timeline further casts a shadow over a New England defense that has been one of the few bright spots amid a woeful 1-3 start to the 2023 season.

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According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Gonzalez suffered a dislocated shoulder while attempting to tackle Dallas running back Tony Pollard in the first quarter of play. 

Judon suffered his injury during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game in Dallas, with his absence putting a serious dent in New England’s ability to get to the opposing quarterback in the weeks ahead.

Since arriving in New England in 2021, Judon has established himself as one of the most feared pass-rushers in the NFL — recording 32.0 sacks in 35 career games with the Patriots.

Gonzalez’s injury further saps a New England secondary already on the ropes when it comes to depth. Entering Week 4 in Dallas, the Patriots were already without cornerbacks Marcus Jones (IR), Jack Jones (IR), and Jonathan Jones, who has missed the last three games with an ankle injury.

Even with that trio of DBs sidelined, New England’s defensive backfield was still holding its own this season, thanks to the play of Gonzalez.

Prior to his injury, Gonzalez played all but one defensive snap on New England’s defense, serving as the team’s No. 1 corner on the outside and negating matchups against top receiving threats like A.J. Brown, Tyreek Hill, Garrett Wilson, and CeeDee Lamb.

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With Gonzalez now expected to be on the shelf, New England’s starting cornerbacks on the outside are Myles Bryant and Shaun Wade, while 2023 rookie Keion White could be in line for more snaps up front in the wake of Judon’s absence.

“Matt and Christian, they’re definitely big pieces to the defense for sure,” Ja’Whaun Bentley said on Monday. “But I would say that we have a great group and in our defensive room. Obviously this is not necessarily nothing we’re new to. We’ve experienced guys going down and things like that.

“We always had that next man up mentality and we just gotta implement that again. Just having the next guy be ready to go. I know we will. And guys have got to step up and be ready to take on either a bigger role, or be more dominant in the role they already have.”

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