Christian Gonzalez wasted no time making a positive impression on the National Football League. The New England Patriots cornerback received NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for September. Unfortunately for the first round pick from Oregon, October has not started out as kindly.
Gonzalez went down after making a tackle the third quarter of yesterday’s New England Patriots loss to the Dallas Cowboys and did not return to the game. Afterwards, reports stated Gonzalez had separated his right shoulder on the play. An MRI is scheduled back in Boston today. The determination on how to treat the injury and how much time he could miss will be determined from there.
Source: #Patriots CB Christian Gonzalez dislocated his right shoulder in their loss to the Cowboys on Sunday.
He’s scheduled to have an MRI tomorrow upon the team’s return to Foxborough to determine the severity of the injury.
— Mike Kadlick (@mikekadlick) October 2, 2023
The cornerback position has seen a plethora of injuries for New England Patriots this season. The loss of Christian Gonzalez is just the latest in a string of ailments that has chipped away at the their cornerback depth chart.
Cornerback Depth Issues
Jack Jones began the season on IR with a hamstring injury. He is eligible to come off of injured reserve this week, but it is unclear if that will happen. Starting cornerback Jonathan Jones has been out since suffering an ankle injury in the season opener. The next game, Marcus Jones tore his labrum and is expected to be out for the year. In addition, rookie cornerback Isaiah Bolden was placed on injured reserve prior to the 53-man cutdowns after suffering a concussion in the Patriots preseason finale. Bolden is now ineligible to play for the Patriots this season.
This leaves Myles Bryant and Shaun Wade as the lone healthy cornerbacks on the Patriots roster. Practice squad players Breon Borders and Azizi Hearn are both candidates for promotion. Safety Jalen Mills, who has previously played at cornerback, could also be an option to move over to corner. If Christian Gonzalez, Jack Jones and Jonathan Jones are all unable to play next week, New England would be without the top four cornerbacks (including Marcus Jones) on their original depth chart.
Christian Gonzalez’s injury is a big blow to the New England Patriots and their defensive backfield. The injury is also a disappointment for Gonzalez himself. The rookie worked hard to improve each week and prove himself as an outstanding NFL cornerback immediately. After this setback, Gonzalez is forced to deal with the less pleasant side of football: injuries and rehab.
(5:34 PM ET, Oct. 2, 2023): ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that both Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez are, “out indefinitely while they seek second opinions on their injuries.”
(5:40 PM ET, Oct. 2, 2023): Mike Kadlick of WEEI reports that Christian Gonzalez’ injury is a torn labrum. No timetable set for his return as they will seek a second opinion.