DT Armond Armstead and WR Mark Harrison will not play this year

As Patriots fans get over the controversial loss to the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football, the attention is starting to turn to a much bigger task at hand: a Sunday Night Football contest against the best team in the AFC, the Denver Broncos. Perhaps lost in the hoopla was Boston Herald's Patriots beat reporter Jeff Howe's tweets about the immediate futures of DT Armond Armstead and WR Mark Harrison in regards to the 2013 season.

While it obviously helps to have all hands on deck, this news would have been much more grim, say, around Week 5 or 6 of the regular season. Perhaps we should have saw the Armstead news coming when the Patriots made a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for DT Isaac Sopoaga before the trade deadline. And around that same time, Tom Brady wasn't quite meshing with his receivers, making some panicked fans call for a Larry Fitzgerald trade or something of the sort.

Another thing to keep in mind is that we have never seen these players play in the NFL, with Armstead coming from the CFL and Harrison being a rookie from Rutgers. It would be impossible (and foolish) to try and predict the impact they would have during the stretch run of an NFL season. A quick look on www.spotrac.com has Armstead and Harrison both on the books for $495K and $585K for the next two years before they are restricted free agents, so the Patriots are in no rush to bring them back this season if they are not completely ready.

The Patriots and Patriots fans both have bigger fish to fry than to worry about the losses of Armstead and Harrison. New England did a good job hedging their bet with the Sopoaga trade, and now that Brady has Shane Vereen and Rob Gronkowski back, coupled with Aaron Dobson's encouraging development, these losses are not as significant as some people might think.

Photo via patriots.com