If you watched it live or subsequently saw the replays of it, the screams coming from Patriots left tackle Sebastian Vollmer, as 305 defensive tackle Randy Starks rolled up on the back of the beheamoth's leg, could make one cringe.
Vollmer was carted off the field and his leg was wrapped in an air-tight cast.
The next day he had surgery to repair the broken leg.
After New England acquired defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga, the team needed to make a subsequent move to make room for him on the roster. That move was the decision to place Vollmer on season-ending IR, confirming what many had speculated.
Marcus Cannon filled in for the "Big German," and did a good job in both pass protection and setting the edge in the run game. However, the team largely ran to right tackle Nate Solder's side, once Vollmer exited the game.
Cannon will be the starter moving forward, being spelled by eight-year veteran, Will Svitek.
But there are intriguing options available on the free agent market. At 6"9, 335 lbs., Jared Gaither provides the Patriots with the type of size the team prefers to have on the bookends. Of course, there are reasons for players still being available this time of year, and Gaither's is a result of laziness. The former Charger has a reputation for milking injuries and failing to give anything close to 100 percent effort. Perhaps being out of the league this season, combined with playing for a competitor and having the responsibility of protecting Tom Brady, could serve as a wake up call.
Another player of note is Jason Smith. The former second overall pick has flamed out everywhere he's played. But the raw talent still exists. If anyone can rescue a career that is rapidly approaching a far-too-soon ending, it is offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
Cannon and Svitek is a solid pairing, but these are just a couple of free agent left tackles, who it can't hurt to further take a look at.