The New England Patriots shaky start against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday grew even worse when the team announced a piece of devastating injury news.
Longtime franchise running back James White left the game in the second quarter with a hip injury, marking a major blow to Bill Belichick’s backfield. The Patriots ruled the 29-year-old ballcarrier out for the rest of the contest soon after he went back into the locker room.
White’s injury came after he rushed for six yards to convert a third-and-3 in New England territory. He was tackled out of bounds and quickly reached his hamstring after he went down to the ground.
White spent a significant amount of time on the ground being tended to by the training staff. As he received treatment, almost every player on the Patriots came over to see the team captain.
Take a look, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss:
Every player in the team comes over to see James White, the captain who garners such respect. pic.twitter.com/RbHpA38iDn
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 26, 2021
The picture perfectly encapsulates what White means to this Patriots organization and team. Not only is he a valuable contributor on the field, but he’s an important locker room leader.
It’s unclear exactly how serious White’s injury is, but the fact that the Patriots training staff ruled him out so quickly isn’t a great sign. The 29-year-old was in the midst of another strong start to the season with 126 total yards and a rushing touchdown through the first two weeks of the season.
The Patriots will try to rally back from a two score deficit without White on Sunday to steal a win away from the Saints. New Orleans currently leads on the road at halftime, 14-3.