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Monday, September 12, 2011
Koppen carted off in second quarter

By Chris Forsberg

ESPN ScreenshotPatriots center Dan Koppen is carted off the field late in the first half.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Patriots center Dan Koppen suffered a left ankle injury late in the first half and was carted off the field.

With the Patriots facing 3rd-and-1 at their own 19, quarterback Tom Brady sneaked the ball for short yardage to move the chains. But Koppen got tangled at the line and teammates immediately motioned for the training staff. He was lifted onto a cart and wheeled off the field with New England's medical staff holding his left ankle steady.

The Patriots initially classified his return as questionable, but soon ruled him out.

Dan Connolly took Koppen's place at center. The Patriots were already thin on offensive linemen with starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer sidelined by a back injury (rookie Nate Solder made his pro debut in his place). New England added Thomas Welch to the active 53-man roster from its practice squad before the game to add depth along the line.

Earlier in the game, Connolly and newly acquired Brian Waters rotated at the right guard position.