FOXBORO, Mass. - Champ Bailey and Rodney Harrison, veteran defensive stalwarts for the Broncos and Patriots, respectively could be gone for a while. And Harrison may be gone for good.
Bailey, one of the NFL’s best corners, injured his groin in the first half of Denver’s 41-7 loss to the Patriots and seemed very concerned with his situation.
“I really don’t know exactly what happened,” he said in the Broncos locker room after the game. “I lifted my leg up to turn around and I felt it go.”
Bailey said he’s never had an injury to his groin. Asked how bad he feels it is, Bailey answered, “I have no idea. We’ll just get an MRI and see what it is. Hopefully it’s just strained. I hope that’s all it is.”
Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan said, “Champ, I’m not really sure right now if he’ll be back.”
The Broncos have a bye next week.
Harrison, the Patriots 15-year veteran safety, was a non-contact knee injury as he tried to plant and pursue Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler.
After being injured, Harrison laid on the ground for a few minutes and was embraced as he was down by teammate Tedy Bruschi. As he was taken off the field on a cart, Harrison made a point of waving to the Gillette Stadium fans.
Could it have been a wave goodbye? Harrison considered retirement after last season and — if the injury is significant — it could be the end for him.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said, “We’ll have to see what it is but it doesn’t look too good.”