New England Patriots veteran offensive lineman Logan Mankins went down with an ankle injury in yesterday’s win over the Buffalo Bills, and the injury initially looked serious. Mankins was taken off the field for a series, but his outlook immediately looked better when he was able to re-enter the game. He put forward a decent performance overall, sliding back to left guard after playing left tackle the previous week due to an injury to star Nate Solder.
According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, a walking boot was spotted in front of Mankins’s locker, leading some to believe that his ankle injury could indeed be serious. It’s usually not a good sign to see a player with a walking boot, but it is by no means damning evidence pointing towards a significant injury. There have been instances of players like Lamar Miller having walking boots only to play the next week, and the conspiracy theorists out there can claim that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are merely planting a seed in the other playoff teams’s minds that a key player won’t be playing.
So while a walking boot sighting is usually not a good sign, we have no indication that Mankins won’t be able to play in the divisional game, especially since it’s too early to make those kinds of guesses. Plus, it’s never easy to predict whether or not Mankins will play, because he just might be the toughest player in the NFL. Seriously, the guy played through the 2011 playoffs with a torn ACL and somehow wasn’t awful. Mankins is a big part of the Patriots offense and has been solid all season, especially when it comes to paving the way for the running backs.