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Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Belichick has options to weigh


ANALYSIS

The Patriots received positive on the injured right leg of Matt Light -- with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reporting that Light has no ligament damage in his knee or ankle -- but the team will presumably still be facing life without their starting left tackle in ensuing weeks.

The question is how will they fill the void.

Rookie Sebastian Vollmer replaced Light during Sunday's loss in Denver, but that doesn't necessarily mean Vollmer will be there this Sunday against the Titans and All-Pro defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch.

The other option is to switch right tackle Nick Kaczur to the left side and insert Vollmer at right tackle.

One of the main factors coach Bill Belichick is likely to consider is if he wants to make a one-for-one exchange, or if he's willing to change two spots on the line because of one injury. During a game, Belichick seems to think it is less disruptive to go the one-for-one route. But with a week of practice ahead, it is a bit easier to adjust to two changes on the line.

The other factor in play is who becomes the No. 3 tackle.

The Patriots usually enter each game with seven offensive linemen, one backup at center/guard, the other backup for both tackle spots.

Mark LeVoir, who is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list after the Titans game, would be a natural fit as the No. 3 tackle. But in the interim, the Patriots could experiment with veteran Kendall Simmons.

When the Patriots signed Simmons to a three-year deal in early September, Belichick said, "He's played right guard in his career at Pittsburgh, but I think he has the ability to play left guard. We'll use him inside, maybe some at tackle."