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Monday, October 29, 2012
Special teams shuffles the deck

By Mike Reiss

LONDON -- The Patriots' run of injuries has had a trickle-down effect on special teams, which is reflected when looking closer at the players who were part of multiple core units in Sunday's 45-7 win over the Rams.

Here is the breakdown, which accounts for the first group of personnel that took the field:

Four units
LB Bobby Carpenter
S Nate Ebner
LB Niko Koutouvides
LB Jeff Tarpinian

Three units
CB Marquice Cole
TE Michael Hoomanawanui
WR Matthew Slater
DB Malcolm Williams

Two units
WR Julian Edelman
DB Devin McCourty
RB Danny Woodhead

ANALYSIS: Of those players on all four units, Carpenter, Tarpinian and Koutouvides weren't part of the initial 53-man roster entering the season. Of the players on three units, defensive back Malcolm Williams was promoted from the practice squad on Saturday. Given the reshuffling of the deck, it's a credit to the players and special teams coach Scott O'Brien for a job well done.