Already thin on the offensive line, the Patriots suffered a major blow during the season opener in Miami as starting center Dan Koppen had to be carted off after sustaining what appeared to be a serious left leg injury.
Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby fell on Koppen's left leg as Koppen was engaged on the offensive line. Koppen came out on crutches after getting examined at halftime and the team ruled him out for the rest of the game with a left ankle injury. WBZ-TV reported in its postgame show that Koppen sustained a broken left ankle, a report coach Bill Belichick would not confirm. "We'll see, I don't know," Belichick said.
"That's tough," added Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who said he didn't know the last time he took a snap from a center other than Koppen. "He's the best. There's no one like him. I think he and I have a great chemistry between the two of us, we always have. He's one of my great friends. I hope he's back at some point. We're certainly going to miss him. But at the same time, other guys have to step in."
Dan Connolly moved over from his right guard spot and took over for Koppen, who turned 32 on Monday.
Moments later, the Dolphins suffered an injury blow of their own as linebacker Jason Taylor had his right foot stepped on and turned by Nate Solder. Taylor, who turned 37 on Sept. 1, limped off and did not return.