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The Patriots need to beef up their linebacking core with the injury to Jerod Mayo, and now they have added the first piece of the puzzle. Tuesday, the Patriots acquired linebacker Prescott Burgess from the Baltimore Ravens for a conditional seventh round pick.
Burgess is entering his third season and has so far had an injury plagued career. He was placed on the injured reserve list his rookie year after suffering a hip injury and missed the entire 2008 season due to a shoulder injury. He was in uniform for both of the Ravens games this year, tallying two tackles so far.
He has played both at inside and outside linebacker in the Ravens scheme, but was primarily a special teams guy. Originally selected in the sixth round out of Michigan, he is coming in to add some much needed depth to the middle of the Patriots defense.
With Mayo out, Burgess will join a lineup of Gary Guyton, Adalius Thomas, and Pierre Woods. During the loss to the Jets, the Patriots linebacking core was relegated to mainly Guyton and Thomas playing the rare 4-2-5 defense.
Although Burgess is a needed body, is he the answer the Patriots are looking for?
Willie McGinest is still on the sidelines after saying he would like to end his career as a Patriot in July. Should he be in solid form, he could come in a be a difference maker and leader for this linebacking core. Surely Patriots fans can welcome him with open arms for a return to New England.
One guy who should get a look at from the Patriots is veteran Zach Thomas. The former Dolphin was said to have looked good after spending the preseason with Kansas City before being cut. He still wants to play, and after a career in which he tallied over 1,700 career tackles, he could be a guy who can solidify the inside for the Pats.
Finally, there is a man who has stepped in for an injured Patriots player before. Junior Seau has said he is retired in the past, but has never officially walked away from the game. Last year he came back to play for an injured Adalius Thomas and helped the Patriots make their push for the playoffs. He has stated that he will return if needed and if the Patriots want to avoid another loss this Sunday against the Falcons, they might to give the old No. 55 a call.
For now, Burgess will do. The chance to shine in a new defense could be what he needs. The Patriots defense still looks shaky, and unless they want to miss the playoffs for a second year in a row, they might need to recruit a new member to join the team.