Despite blowing out the Denver Broncos on Monday night 41-7, the Patriots win may have been more costly than they could have imagined. Veteran safety Rodney Harrison was carted off the field during the game with a knee injury. Harrison's injury appeared serious and could lead to an early ending of his season.
New England Patriots' Rodney Harrison (37) leaves the field after being injured in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 20, 2008 against the Denver Broncos, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots won 41-7. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Fellow safety James Sanders may have said it best when talking about Harrison's loss after the game.
“He is a future Hall of Famer. He is one of the best to play this game," said Sanders. "He has taught me a lot since I have been in New England. He means a lot to me as a football player and a friend. I don’t know his status right now. If he misses time, we will miss him. I am going to go to the training room and see how he is doing and let him know I am here for him.”
The sentiment of being there for Rodney was a common one. Tedy Bruschi walked out on the field before Harrison was placed on the cart. Bruschi shared a personal moment veteran to veteran. He preferred not to reveal the conversation after the game.
“I’m going to keep that to myself if you don’t mind," Bruschi said. "Rodney is one of my favorite teammates of all time and I just went out there to check on him. What I told him and he told me was something between us.”
Harrison went down in a heap after trying to make a cut back to tackle the ball carrier on the final play of the third quarter. He spend a long time on the field with the training staff before Bruschi ran out to be with his old friend.
After the game, Bill Belichick didn't have many details about Harrison' injury, but he did mention it didnt' look good.
"I don’t know," said of the severity of Harrison's knee injury. "We will have to see how that is. It doesn’t look too good but I don’t have any update right now."
Harrison is in his sixth season with the Patriots since joining the team as a free agent. He spent his first nine seasons in San Diego with the Chargers. The injury is Harrison's third major knee injury since joining the Patriots. He missed the remainder of the season in his last two injuries.
In addition to losing Harrison for what could be the rest of the season, the Patriots saw Sammy Morris get sidelined by a knee injury. Morris' injury wasn't obvious to those watching, he simply didn't return to the field after turning in a career-best performance in the first half. When asked about Morris' injury, the team offered no updates.
Morris finished the night gaining 138 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown.
Losing Morris to injury would be catastrophic for the Patriots who placed Laurence Maroney on reserve /injured list prior to the game, and have LaMont Jordan nursing a sore calf for the second week in a row. The patriots finished the game with Heath Evans, Kevin Faulk and rookie BenJarvus Green-Ellis as their only ball carriers.