Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/10/12

Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network is reporting that LB Dane Fletcher suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the first quarter of Thursday's preseason game against the New Orleans Saints. The Patriots won 7-6, but a loss like this to kick off the season is never a good sign.

Fletcher started the game at ILB, but his injury occurred while on the punt unit. Tough break for the versatile Fletcher, who's a Belichick favorite that can play both inside and outside.

With Dane likely done for the season, the Patriots will look to Bobby Carpenter to fill the void. Carpenter has a similar skill set that hopefully can be utilized by the coaching staff. Rookie Dont'a Hightower will also get his share of the load.

Bill Belichick touched on what Fletcher means to the defense after the game:

“Well he’s played on all four downs for us; He’s played on first and second down, played on third down and played in the kicking game.  He has some versatility and he’s had roles on different downs at different times or in different game plans.  So he’s done all those things to some degree.” “We’ll evaluate him like we do with any situation like that and see what the doctors say.  I’m not a doctor.”

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