Patriot’s Tom Brady is out for the remainder of the season

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) âÄî The New England Patriots have come back from injuries before, winning three Super Bowls and reaching a fourth despite losing Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour, Junior Seau and Drew Bledsoe. Now they will try to do it without Tom Brady. The 2007 NFL Most Valuable Player will miss the entire âÄô08 season with a left knee injury that needs surgery, the team said Monday. That leaves the Patriots without one of the gameâÄôs great quarterbacks and severely damages their hopes of a return trip to the Super Bowl. Coach Bill Belichick would not say what the injury is, but the play, BradyâÄôs reaction and the prognosis all point toward a torn anterior cruciate ligament. âÄúAs a team we all just have to do our jobs. That really doesnâÄôt change,âÄù Belichick said Monday, a day after BradyâÄôs knee collapsed under him when he was hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard in a 17-10 victory over Kansas City. âÄúHe played one position, he played it very well. We have somebody else playing that position now.âÄù The Patriots issued a one-paragraph statement that the two-time Super Bowl MVP will have surgery and be placed on injured reserve. That leaves them in the hands of a backup whoâÄôs barely been tested âÄî in part because of BradyâÄôs 128-game starting streak that was the third-longest for a quarterback in NFL history. Matt Cassel, who guided New England to its 20th consecutive regular-season victory after Brady was hurt, will start Sunday at the New York Jets. It will be the first meaningful start since high school for Cassel, who backed up Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at Southern Cal and spent the last three years holding a clipboard for Brady. âÄúIâÄôm not trying to be Tom Brady. IâÄôm just trying to be Matt Cassel,âÄù he said when subbing for Brady on his regular weekly radio show. âÄúI donâÄôt know where thatâÄôs going to take us.âÄù Brady took the Patriots to three NFL titles since 2001 and led them to a perfect record in the regular season last year before a loss in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants deprived them of a fourth championship and an unprecedented 19-0 season. They had been favored to return âÄî before BradyâÄôs injury. âÄúWeâÄôre not going to tank it the rest of the season. ThatâÄôs not going to happen,âÄù defensive lineman Richard Seymour said in a somber and nearly empty Patriots locker room. Seymour was across from where BradyâÄôs locker remained stocked with equipment and personal items. âÄúThereâÄôs always a way to win. WeâÄôre not going to have a lot of excuses about it.âÄù Even without Brady, the Patriots remain a team stocked with veterans in a mediocre division, and with one of the most successful coaches in NFL history. âÄúThe leadership on this team will take care of itself,âÄù offensive lineman Matt Light said. âÄúI expect [Cassel] to do his job, and thatâÄôs the same thing he expects from each one of us. ThereâÄôs nobody on this team that we donâÄôt have confidence in. You canâÄôt have a better mentor than Tom Brady.âÄù