The Patriots placed four players on injured reserve Tuesday, but none more valuable than starting CB Leigh Bodden.
Bodden had been battling a knee injury this offseason. He was tied for the team lead in 2009 with five interceptions and led the team with 17 passes defended. Bodden sat out of practice Monday but played last Thursday against the Rams, registering one tackle in his first preseason action.
The Patriots' 2010 first-round pick, CB Devin McCourty, will likely take over the starting CB spot opposite 2009 second-rounder Darius Butler. McCourty has played well this preseason and brings a physical presence, but he's only a rookie.
Sam Bradford and the Rams' passing offense torched the Patriots' secondary Thursday night. Rams quarterbacks combined for 326 yards passing.
With the loss of Bodden, 2008 second-round pick CB Terrence Wheatley likely secured a roster spot as insurance in what will be a very young secondary, with fourth-year FS Brandon Meriweather likely to be the oldest of the starting defensive backs. Bodden is an eight-year veteran.
The Patriots also placed S Josh Barrett, DB Bret Lockett and DL Darryl Richard on I.R. They released CB Terrence Johnson.
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