Re: Dowling placed on season-ending IR
- I was really excited when the Patriots drafted Dowling. Then they lost him right off the bat last season, and I still maintained high hopes for him for this season. However, during the last game, I officially gave up on the guy. Half-jokingly, I wondered if Darius Butler was available. This was BEFORE Dowling left with an injury. The injury simply added to the time to move on finality. He's played poorly throughout the season and the preseason and training camp. If his performance last Sunday was due to being hurt before the time he finally left the game, that doesn't help his cause. The problem is that he's almost always injured and very rarely healthy. He's gone on IR in both of his pro seasons, and before that he missed large amounts of time in College due to injury and had injury problems in high school too. I just don't see that changing at this point, and he hasn't shown anything aside from a few flashes in the 2011 season opener before he left that game with an injury..It sucks that Hernandez is out again. I hope it's not a case of his rushing back too soon and pushing his recovery back too far. The Pats really could use him in the post season, but he needs to be healthy and in synch with the rest of the offense. (And, of course, the team needs to make the playoffs in the first place. Something that's definitely not guaranteed.)What's especially worrisome for this game is both starting safeties being out again. Maybe Tavon Wilson will end up keeping a starting job by the time Chung and Gregory are both able to play again, but it's nice to have depth and experience. The secondary looked much better the first few games when all three guys were available and Wilson was coming off the bench whether to sub or serve as an extra DB. If Wilson wins the job, Chung or Gregory could fill that role. If not, Wilson could go back to it.I picked the Patriots to beat the Rams, but now the prospects are looking pretty grim.