AFC East injury report, Week 15: Alfonzo Dennard goes down for weak Pats secondary

USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots lost a starting cornerback in Alfonzo Dennard, and the rookie's backup was the culprit when the team allowed a game-winning touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers.

The biggest injury of Week 15 in the AFC East may have been a rookie, as Alfonzo Dennard went down for the New England Patriots, weakening an already sub-par secondary.

Dennard needed to leave the New England Patriots' loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter after hurting his knee defending a pass. It didn't seem like it would be a big loss: Although the seventh-round draft pick has played a big role at cornerback for New England, their secondary has been roughshod anyway, and Dennard was in coverage for several big completions, including a touchdown pass to Delanie Walker. But his replacement, Kyle Arrington, was the tackler Michael Crabtree eluded en route to a 38-yard game-winning touchdown, so Dennard might be more valuable than previously thought. His status going forward is unclear.

Three Miami Dolphins players had to leave the team's 34-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars: Daniel Thomas, Reggie Bush's backup, only lasted seven snaps before suffering a knee injury. Backup cornerback Nolan Carroll and Charles Clay both went down with knee injuries in the second quarter. All three are questionable going forward.

The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills were able to play relatively unscathed this week. Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill are on the mend for the Jets, although Jeff Cumberland has done well at tight end in Keller's absence and Mark Sanchez hasn't really been hitting his targets regardless, and linebacker Bryan Thomas is working his way back from a pectoral muscle strain. Donald Jones and Leodis McKelvin may be able to play Sunday for the Bills with calf and groin injuries, as both are questionable.

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