By: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
November 23, 2004

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KANSAS CITY, MO -- As if the news in the secondary wasn't already bad enough, it appears it may have gotten a bit worse on Monday night during the Patriots' 27-19 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel appeared to suffer an injury to his right shoulder/arm while defending a pass from quarterback Trent Green to Chiefs wide receiver Eddie Kennison. Samuel leaped to defend the pass and came down hard on his right side and was screaming in pain.

Samuel was assisted off the field and now his status for New England's upcoming game against the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday in Foxboro is up in the air.

With starters Ty Law and Tyrone Poole both sidelined with injuries in recent weeks, the Patriots have already been doing a patchwork job trying to fill in the gaps by using wide receiver Troy Brown in the secondary and coming up with schemes to disguise the coverages so as not to be exploited. It worked last week against the Buffalo Bills, but against a talented Chiefs offense it didn't work out too well. Kansas City racked up 417 yards including 353 yards passing and they spent most of the night attacking the likes of Randall Gay and Earthwind Moreland.

Now it will be interesting to see what else Belichick can come up with in the event they're without Samuel this week.

Belichick told reporters that in all his years of coaching he's never seen anything like the injuries his team has endured this season.

"We've scrambled around sometimes," said Belichick. "But this might be taking it to a whole new level."

BRANCH RETURNS

After missing most of the season with a knee injury, wide receiver Deion Branch finally returned to the lineup Monday night. Branch finished with 6 catches for 105 yards including a touchdown. Branch also gave his team a spark on their opening drive. His first catch since mid-September was a seventeen yard grab on a 3rd and 15 play that helped set up New England's first touchdown, a 5-yard scoring run by Corey Dillon. It was the 15th consecutive game that the Patriots have scored first, tying them for the NFL record with the 1978 Miami Dolphins.


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