Report: ‘There is a good chance’ Patriots’ linebacker Matthew Judon could return in December

Judon recorded four sacks this season before his injury.

Matthew Judon could be back for the Patriots sooner than initially anticipated. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

The Patriots reportedly have high hopes that their highest-paid defensive player could return to play before the end of this year.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Matthew Judon, who suffered a torn lower bicep tendon last week, could be back on the field in about two months. Rapoport added that the timetable could be based on how well the 31-year-old’s elected surgery on Oct. 4 went. He said December is a “realistic goal” for Judon’s return.

Judon suffered the injury against the Dallas Cowboys in Texas on Oct. 1.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Oct. 2 that the linebacker would be out ‘indefinitely’ alongside rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez, who suffered a dislocated shoulder also versus the Cowboys. 

Gonzalez landed on season-ending injured reserve ahead of Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints; however, notably, Judon did not. The lack of a roster move on Judon’s part could be a good sign, for the time being, that New England has optimism that the player can return in 2023.


Judon, who signed with the Patriots as a free agent in 2021, recorded four sacks this year before his injury. He logged 13 tackles in three games, 10 of those being solo.

He had a remarkable 2022 season upon recording a career-high 15.5 sacks, 28 quarterback hits, and 60 tackles last season. Those numbers helped him land a revised two-year contract extension worth $22.5 million with New England this past offseason.

Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick was questioned after the Cowboys game for still having one of his best players in Judon on the field while New England was being blown out. Judon’s injury occurred early in the fourth quarter while the team was down by 28 points.

“You’ve got to put somebody out there,” Belichick said in response.

The Patriots have a number of other linebackers on the roster who will need to step up in Judon’s absence. This includes Ja’Whaun Bentley, Chris Board, Anfernee Jennings, Marte Mapu, Jahlani Tavai, Josh Uche, and Mack Wilson Sr.


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