New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Offensive Line Injuries

In two items of somewhat-expected news, Stephen Neal was placed on PUP and Ryan O’Callaghan was placed on injured reserve. These moves were made in compliance with the 75-man roster limit. As a result, Neal will not be available for the first six weeks of the season at least, and O’Callaghan will miss the year.

Stephen Neal has a fixture at right guard over the past three seasons, but he struggled with injury problems last year. The Patriots proved their ability to win without Neal. However, the circumstances are significantly different going into the season this year. The rest of the offensive line is also banged up, with Ryan O’Callaghan joining two other players already on IR, and Matt Light’s health questionable. If the offensive line suffers any more injuries, the team may be forced into making a trade or starting practice-squad players.

There is reason for optimism, though. Last year, Patriots fans were concerned when star DE Richard Seymour was on PUP for the first seven weeks of the season, but the team didn’t miss a beat. Hopefully, Neal’s injury will unfold the same way, and we’ll have him back by midseason.


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