Patriots Rookie Linebacker Out for Season

Photo: AP Photo/Charles Krupa

In between an impressive win against the Packers, and another test in Tennessee, the Patriots welcomed running back Rex Burkhead back to practice.

However, along with this report came another one, indicating the end of the season for rookie linebacker, Ja’Whaun Bentley due to torn biceps. Through three games—two starts—this season, the rookie out of Purdue registered 14 tackles, a quarterback hit, and also contributed an interception before going down in the second half against the Detroit Lions in week three.

This is an underrated blow to the Patriots front-seven, who just recently missed out on signing Bruce Irvin—who signed with the Atlanta Falcons earlier this week. This injury doesn’t just impact the performance on the field, but Bentley was quickly becoming one of leaders on this defense. At the peak of Dont’a Hightower’s struggles and recovery, you could spot the rookie Bentley as the lead play-caller against the Lions. While it didn’t lead to an impressive defensive outing from the Pats, who lost the game 26-10 and fell to 1-2 at the time, seeing the trust Bill Belichick and Brian Flores had in Bentley was enough to tell you they liked their fifth-round linebacker.

While the Titans don’t have a juggernaut at the tight end position, the Patriots will get tested by an old friend and dual-threat running back, Dion Lewis. The Patriot for three years has 598 scrimmage yards in his first season with the Titans and his ability to go out and catch passes is what makes him so effective. That, and his elusiveness. This is a prime example of where Bentley could have schemed in a lot.

But as you know—next man up.



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