Patriots rookie Christian Gonzalez and outside linebacker Matthew Judon are out indefinitely while they seek additional opinions on their injuries suffered Sunday against Dallas, a league source confirmed Monday.
Both players exited New England’s 38-3 blowout loss early and did not return to the field.
Gonzalez dislocated his shoulder while trying to make a tackle in the first quarter. Judon suffered a lower biceps tendon tear in the fourth quarter.
Asked after the game if there was any consideration to keeping Judon off the field because of the 31-3 score after three quarters, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said no.
Belichick said Monday he expects the team to have more information this week following additional testing.
”If a player gets injured during the game, especially when we’re on the road, it’s always better to get a little better, more definitive evaluation the next day after the adrenaline has settled down and the hype of the game is off and we get a chance to look at whatever tests the medical people need to do, whether that’s scans, MRIs, X-rays, post-evaluation,” Belichick said. “We’ll try to get a more definitive answer before we do anything or say anything.”
Losing Gonzalez and/or Judon would be a significant blow to New England’s defense. Gonzalez has played an important role in limiting opposing wide receivers, while Judon is the anchor to the team’s pass rush.
Gonzalez’s injury is the latest problem for New England’s cornerback room, which has been without Jonathan Jones (ankle), Jack Jones (hamstring, injured reserve), and Marcus Jones (torn labrum, IR). Jack Jones is eligible to return off IR this week.
Headed into Sunday’s game, Gonzalez had been on the field for 99.5 percent of the defense’s snaps — a testament to how much the team trusts him and to the depleted depth at the position.
“He has brought a little bit of everything — smarts, tackled well, great man coverage, and just the ability to learn and do what’s asked of him,” safety Kyle Dugger said Monday.
The Patriots have a bit more depth at Judon’s position, with promising rookie Keion White in line to earn more snaps. Linebacker Anfernee Jennings could be in the mix, too.
”If players are available, then they’re available,” Belichick said. ”If they’re not, then they’re not.”