Haynesworth, Chung are out
Already without their starting right tackle and one of their talented tight ends for today’s matchup at Buffalo, the Patriots last night downgraded three players to out, including two key defensive players.
Starting safety Patrick Chung and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, as well as receiver Taylor Price, join Sebastian Vollmer, Aaron Hernandez, and Mike Wright as players declared unavailable for today’s game.
Chung injured his right hand against San Diego last week, left the game, and returned with a cast. He underwent surgery on his thumb last week and returned to practice Friday with the cast.
To fill the Chung’s void, the Patriots promoted defensive back Ross Ventrone off the practice squad. He will help shore up the depth in the defensive backfield, but Josh Barrett and Sergio Brown will be the starters.
Barrett has played in just two games for the Patriots - the first two of the season - and Brown will make his first start.
Haynesworth practiced Wednesday but missed the next two days with a back issue. After placing Myron Pryor on injured reserve last week with a shoulder injury and now without Haynesworth, the Patriots are very thin at defensive tackle and may have to play a 3-4 instead of the four-man line they played almost exclusively the first two games.
With Hernandez out, Price had an opportunity to step up, but a nagging hamstring injury has sidelined him.
Without Vollmer, New England will have just two healthy offensive tackles: Matt Light and Nate Solder.
Adams available Last week, the Patriots signed defensive back Phillip Adams.
A seventh-round draft pick of the 49ers last year out of South Carolina State, Adams played in 15 games for San Francisco, primarily on special teams. He suffered a gruesome broken ankle in the regular-season finale, and was among the Niners’ final cuts Sept. 3. With injuries to a couple of members of the secondary, Adams could be thrown into the fire today.
“I’m thankful, blessed for my situation, blessed to be here in this organization,’’ he said.
End of the road On Friday, coach Bill Belichick opened his news conference by saying he felt badly that the team had to place Dan Koppen (ankle) and Pryor (shoulder) on injured reserve, ending their seasons. “Dan has played a lot of really good football for us here and he’s really been such a dependable guy in every sense of the word,’’ Belichick said. “When you don’t have him, you really realize how consistent and dependable he has been.’’ Of Pryor, Belichick said, “Myron had a good preseason, I thought he really got off to a little bit of a late start but worked hard, was doing really well.’’ . . . Linebacker A.J. Edds was signed to the practice squad . . . The Patriots’ 15-game win streak over the Bills is only the third-longest series winning streak in league history. The Dolphins beat Buffalo 20 straight times from 1970-79, and the 49ers beat the Rams in 17 consecutive matchups from 1990-98.
Shalise Manza Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.