Lost Leader

While the Red Sox were rained out at Fenway last night, the area was still abuzz over the reports that Rodney Harrison would be lost to the Patriots for the rest of the season, and possibly forever. The club has not confirmed this news yet, but multiple news sources are reporting it and last night Clark Judge on CBS Sportsline .com had Harrison’s agent confirming that his client was done for the year, and that the safety had suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. This is similar to the injury suffered by Bills running back Willis McGahee when he was in college at Miami. This article from the Buffalo News of a couple years ago is a good reference for what those three ligaments do, and what the hopes for recovery are.

Locally, Jerome Solomon also has the quote from the agent, but only mentions the ACL tear, which is the most serious of the three. Karen Guregian mentions the national reports of all three ligaments being torn, and notes that Matt Light could well be done for the year as well. Chris Kennedy reports on the injuries, which put the Patriots into a familiar position. Kevin McNamara notes that the backups will be counted on to come in and do the jobs they’ve prepared for. Alan Greenberg says that to brood about injuries or to use them as an excuse is “totally un-Patriotic”, and you won’t catch any that around Foxboro. Tim Weisberg observes that this team has overcome devastating injuries before. This might be the ultimate test, with both Harrison and Tedy Bruschi done on defense and Light on offense. Michael Parente also reports on the Patriots losing the heart and soul of their defense. Steve Buckley (subscription only) notes that while the Patriots were going about their business yesterday these injuries hurt more than most. Jim Donaldson says that the implications of these injuries are severe, perhaps moreso for Light in terms of team impact.

Michael Felger wraps up the win in Pittsburgh with his Patriots report card. Former Pats great Steve Grogan hands out his grades for Patsfans.com. Jonathan Comey notes that despite the loss of Harrison, the Patriots showed championship form on Sunday against the Steelers. Christopher Price says that there is no truth to the rumor that the Patriots are looking to sign the Burger King for their secondary, despite his obvious ball-hawking skills that he displays in picking off Drew Bledsoe in the commercial. Bob George wonders if this could really be the end of the line for Harrison. Tom E Curran gives a hats off to the Patriots offensive play calling (whoever was responsible) for making adjustments against the Steelers defense. Guregian looks at the strong play of the offensive line rookies, who are holding their own while being thrust into the fire. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) is at his best this morning as he looks a the comparisons between Larry Bird and Tom Brady, and appears that he might be considering putting Brady ahead of Bird at some point, an idea that he appears he cannot even fathom himself. Jeff Jacobs also has an ode to Brady. Guregian has a short report on the clock error Sunday which resulted in an extra minute being put on the game clock.

Solomon’s notebook has more on the game clock error, plus a look at Matt Light’s injury, the replacements for Light and Harrison, and Corey Dillon taking a little shot at Ron Borges by refusing to talk to the media, saying that he is “too old”. Guregian’s notebook says that Adam Vinatieri’s late game heroics are simply becoming routine. McNamara’s notebook reports that the Patriots kicker hopes to be around playing this game for quite a while longer.

The BSMW Patriots Game Day Rear View is undergoing some changes at the moment. Due to a heavy personal load, Scott A Benson is stepping down and has brought in Greg Doyle to handle the blogging about the Super Bowl Champions. I want to thank Scott for all he’s done for the page, and look forward as Greg gets his feet wet with the duties.

The Red Sox were rained out last night, forcing an unwanted doubleheader today. Chris Snow reports that the rainout means that the much anticipated Curt Schilling/Randy Johnson matchup will not happen this weekend after all. Michael Silverman also looks at the Red Sox flipping their rotation after the rainout, as does Jeff Goldberg. Another factor is that that the Red Sox now have to play two games today against a team that has given them trouble all year. Joe McDonald pursues this angle. Lenny Megliola looks at the curveball thrown by Mother Nature last night at the Red Sox. Ron Chimelis and Brendan McGair again look at how the rain foiled the Red Sox weekend plans.

Bob Hohler has a look at a difficult season for Curt Schilling, who hasn’t recovered from his ankle injury enough to be able to pitch consistently the way he would like. He is also stung by the recent comments from a teammate which appeared in a Howard Bryant column last week. Dennis & Callahan have put the finger on Manny or Keith Foulke being the teammate, without giving any evidence other than they are guys they don’t like. Stan Grossfeld offers up a feature on Carl Yastrzemski, out on a fishing boat, talking about the pressures of Boston, 1967, clashes with Ted Williams, losing his son and many other topics. Bob Ryan looks at the Blue Jays, who plan on playing the role of spoiler this week at Fenway. Silverman notes that the pressure is doubled with two games against the Jays today for the Red Sox. Usually skeptical and pessimistic (by his own admission) Ron Chimelis says at the Red Sox are a lock to make the postseason. Tony Chamberlain looks at how Craig Hansen is adjusting to big league life, just a couple months removed from college. Rich Thompson has a quick hit on Alex Cora and how he is enjoying his time in Boston. Gordon Edes reports on a proposal from the Players Association to increase the penalties for positive steroid tests. Howard Bryant (subscription only) looks at the rain last night dousing the dream duel that had been set up this weekend between Johnson and Schilling.

Snow’s notebook looks at the Yankees making plans for the postseason. Silverman’s notebook wonders how many people are going to call in *ahem* sick today. The Projo notebook has brave words from Johnny Damon, who declares himself at 100% and ready for a run at the postseason this week.

Stephen Harris looks at unanswered questions facing the Bruins as they prep for the season opener. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at Montreal rookie sensation Guillaume Latendresse whom the Bruins will see tonight. Matt Kalman looks at the situation between the Bruins and Nick Boynton reaching a critical point, and why other teams haven’t put in offers for the restricted free agent. Bill Griffith reports on NESN signing up Jack Edwards to handle play-by-play on their Bruins road telecasts.

Celtics Blog has a nice Q&A with Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck.

Vin Sylvia looks at the UNH Wildcats being ranked #1 in NCAA Division 1-AA Football for the first time ever. Michael Vega looks at BC QB Matt Ryan’s quick recovery from a nasty hit on Saturday.

The New York Sports News page has coverage of the AL East race, a piece in the Post has Johnny Damon saying that the Red Sox missed out on a chance to sign him at a discount, and NFL coverage as the Jets lose two quarterbacks for the season.

NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 1:00 and 7:00. ESPN2 has Toledo/Fresno State college football at 9:00.