New England’s preseason game with the Green Bay Packers was suspended on Saturday night after Patriots rookie cornerback Isaiah Bolden was carted off the field early in the fourth quarter.
Bolden, a seventh-round pick from Jackson State, appeared to collide with teammate Calvin Munson while attempting to make a hit on a pass completion to Green Bay’s Malik Heath. As medical officials treated Bolden, both teams left their respective sidelines and got on the field, with some players getting on one knee.
After Bolden was carted off the field, the two teams conferred and decided not to continue the game. The game stopped with the Patriots leading 21-17 with 10:29 left in the fourth quarter.
The Patriots announced after the game ended that Bolden had feeling in all his extremities and that he was taken to a local hospital in Green Bay for further tests. The team later added that Bolden would be held overnight for observation.
The Patriots said they’re planning to provide an update on Bolden’s condition by 8 a.m. Sunday.
In his postgame press conference, Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater praised head coach Bill Belichick for pushing to end the game following the scary injury, saying he really appreciated it.
“This is not the AFC Championship. We’re not playing for records. This is preseason game No. 2. We have an injury like that, and it affects a lot of guys in a lot of different ways. Clearly our team was shaken by what happened,” Slater said. “I think coach made the right decision. That was tremendous leadership by him. Honestly, that was one of the proudest moments I’ve had as a guy who’s played for him for now 16 years to see what he did. There was no hesitation.”
“I appreciate coach LaFleur as well for standing with him on that,” Slater added. “I think everyone acted swiftly, and it was the right call in this situation.”
Before Bolden’s injury, New England’s Mac Jones made his first appearance of the preseason before Bailey Zappe took over and rallied the Patriots to the lead.
Jones went 6 of 9 for 52 yards in three series, including an 18-yard touchdown drive after a Packers turnover. Jones didn’t play last week when the Patriots opened the preseason with a 20-9 loss to the Houston Texans.
Zappe was 10 of 22 for 117 yards with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Kayshon Boutte. Zappe ended the third quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-2 play.
Green Bay’s Jordan Love threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to rookie second-round pick Jayden Reed on his third and final series of the game.
Love went 5 of 8 for 83 yards and also had two carries for 11 yards as he continues preparing for his first season as a starter following the trade of four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets.
Green Bay’s Kingsley Enagbare sacked Jones twice. His second sack resulted in a fumble that Enagbare recovered to set up the Packers’ second touchdown. Enagbare likely would start Green Bay’s Sept. 10 opener at Chicago if the Packers don’t have outside linebacker Rashan Gary, who is coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that ended his 2022 season.
Green Bay’s Anders Carlson kicked a 52-yard field goal with 1 second left in the first half. That represented a big boost for the rookie sixth-round pick from Auburn after he missed two extra-point attempts last week in a 36-19 victory at Cincinnati.
The Packers are planning for Carlson to take over for Mason Crosby, the franchise’s career leading scorer. Crosby, who had been Green Bay’s kicker since 2007, remains a free agent.
Patriots WR Tre Nixon left with a shoulder injury late in the second quarter.
Packers S Tarvarius Moore and FB Henry Pearson suffered knee injuries. WR Dontayvion Wicks hurt his hamstring and OL Jake Hanson had a shin injury.