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Thursday, September 2, 2010
How Bodden's loss makes Pats susceptible

By Tim Graham

The loss of New England Patriots cornerback Leigh Bodden won't cut their defense in half. Those kind of statements are reserved for superstars like Darrelle Revis.

Bodden
Bodden

But Bodden's season-ending injury shouldn't be underestimated, "Monday Night Football" analyst Jon Gruden said on a conference call Wednesday.

"I think it hurts them," Gruden said in a story on BostonHerald.com. "That was the one corner they had that was an NFL-experienced corner. ... Losing a guy like Leigh Bodden, who they thought a lot of and paid a lot of money to retain, I think it really hurts the Patriots."

Gruden then explained how, noting the Patriots' lack of depth. The projected starters would be second-year pro Darius Butler and rookie Devin McCourty, giving the Patriots the NFL's least experienced cornerback duo. The rest of the depth chart consists of Jonathan Wilhite, Terrence Wheatley and Kyle Arrington.

"Teams are going to put three and four receivers out on the field to try to get your third and fourth corner," Gruden said. "And God forbid [the Patriots] have another injury at that position.

"So not only have they lost an outstanding player and arguably their best corner, they've lost depth."