Stephon Gilmore’s concussion leaves headache in Patriots secondary

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Kareem Hunt /

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore will not play in Sunday’s showdown with the New York Jets leaving the secondary shorthanded. 

The injury bug has now hit New England Patriots $65 million cornerback Stephon Gilmore.  On Saturday, the team downgraded Gilmore to out for Sunday’s AFC East showdown with the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium due to a concussion.

While it is unknown as to how and when the veteran cornerback suffered the concussion, his unavailability for Sunday’s game leaves the Patriots with a lack of depth at the cornerback position.

With cornerback Eric Rowe also ruled out due to a groin injury, the team will only have three active cornerbacks led by Malcolm Butler.  The other two are Jonathan Jones, who made game-ending play last Thursday night, and special teamer Johnson Bademosi.

That will mean a lot more three-man safety nickel packages with Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon.  If necessary, expect the team to use McCourty and even Chung at cornerback since both have experience and are veterans in the defensive backfield.  In that scenario, Jordan Richards or Nate Ebner could see some time on the field.

New England Patriots
FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 01: Fozzy Whittaker /

Fortunately for the New England Patriots, they are not facing a high octane passing attack.  The Jets have a talented trio of receivers in Jermaine Kearse, Robby Anderson and Jeremy Kerley, but Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia should be able to figure out a way to put the secondary in position to make plays.

Bad timing for Gilmore

Coming off his best game as a member of the New England Patriots, Stephon Gilmore will not get a chance to build off that success…at least for this week.

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The highly criticized cornerback was finally able to show he could play in the Patriots’ defense with a strong performance against Tampa Bay’s dangerous receiver Mike Evans.  That performance followed disappointing weeks in which Gilmore and the secondary struggled due to breakdowns and communication issues.

Last Thursday night’s game definitely sparked some confidence into Gilmore.  Speaking to the media on Wednesday, he talked about his steady improvement.

"“Yeah, I think I’m getting better and better and feeling more comfortable,” he said, via WEEI.  “I am just going to keep building.”"

He also said he was looking forward to being a part of the Patriots-Jets rivalry, but that will have to wait as Stephon Gilmore must now focus on making his way back to the field.

Next: The last word: New England Patriots in for a battle against New York Jets

In his absence, Malcolm Butler must play at the high level we are accustomed to.  And obviously, Jonathan Jones will also have to step up big time to help fill the void.