By: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
September 30, 2002

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FOXBORO, MA -- The injuries continue to pile up for New England.

After eight players including six starters were listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers, veteran defensive lineman Anthony Pleasant and rookie tight end Daniel Graham both suffered shoulder injuries that are apparently worse than originally thought. Graham went down after trying to make a leaping grab and coming down awkwardly, and then came off the field with a trainer bracing his arm. He didn't return and one source who was at the game said he may have suffered a separated shoulder.

As for Pleasant his injury according to another source is indeed a shoulder separation, and he'll probably miss this week's game against Miami. Considering how much the Patriots defensive line struggled Sunday against the Chargers after allowing 217-yards rushing to LaDanian Tomlinson, his absence is only going to make things more difficult for a defense that has allowed an average of 198.5 yards rushing per game during the last two contests.

Belichick didn't elaborate on the injuries during his press conference on Monday, simply saying there were a couple of guys "with sore shoulders".

It's a disappointing injury for Graham who many fans had high hopes for heading into the 2002 season. The rookie out of Colorado was expected to finally be the replacement for former Patriots tight end Ben Coates who used to be the focal point of the Patriots offense. Now Brady will need to rely on teammates Christian Fauria and Cam Cleeland to pick up the slack, although Cleeland was a healthy scratch for the game.

As for Pleasant he started all four games this season and had 1.5 sacks for New England's defensive line.


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