Patriots’ Matthew Judon out indefinitely with torn bicep, per sources: Who fills in?

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New England Patriots edge rusher Matthew Judon will be out indefinitely with a torn bicep muscle, according to team and league sources. ESPN first reported the news. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Judon, 31, will have surgery Wednesday to repair the injury, via ESPN. He sustained the injury during the team’s Week 4 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. There’s hope he could return this season, but he could miss the rest of the season, according to a team source.
  • The Patriots edge rusher has been one of the best pass rushers in the league the past couple of seasons. He tallied four sacks in four games in 2023.
  • New England sits at 1-3 and will face the New Orleans Saints in Week 5.

What Judon’s absence means for Patriots

A Patriots roster without many stars is now left to play without their best player. Judon has been by far coach Bill Belichick’s best free-agent signing in recent years and has been everything the team imagined. He’s a leader in the locker room, their most productive player and a guy they’ve relied on in crucial situations. All of that means this is a massive, massive loss even for an organization that loves to pride themselves on a next-man-up approach. This Patriots roster lacks explosive players on both sides of the ball, but Judon was one of the few they could rely on to deliver impactful plays. — Chad Graff, New England Patriots writer

Hard, if not impossible, to replace Judon

Simply put, there’s no replacing the productivity Judon brought to the Patriots. He had 15.5 sacks last season and four through four games this season. You can’t elevate someone from the bench and expect even half those numbers. But the Patriots do still have a good pass rusher in Josh Uche who will be leaned on more heavily after only playing 35 percent of defensive snaps through the first four games. The Pats will probably also give more playing time to Keion White, their second-round pick who has played well in a limited role. — Chad Graff, New England Patriots writer


Judon came to the Patriots leading up to the 2021 season after five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Judon earned two Pro Bowl trips in his final two seasons with the Ravens. He added two more Pro Bowl nods with New England in 2021 and 2022. He produced 12.5 sacks in 2021 and 15.5 sacks in 2022.

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(Photo: Sam Hodde / Getty Images)

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