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Patriots put CB Bodden on injured reserve with bad shoulder

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots lost a key player Tuesday when Leigh Bodden, their best cornerback, was placed on injured reserve.

Bodden, who led the Patriots with five interceptions last season, went on the season-ending list with a shoulder injury. He had been bothered by a knee injury earlier in training camp and returned to practice last week. He played in Thursday night's 36-35 preseason loss to the St. Louis Rams.

The Patriots didn't say which shoulder Bodden injured.

New England trimmed to the 75-player roster limit by Tuesday's deadline by releasing defensive back Terrence Johnson and placing three other players on injured reserve: safety Josh Barrett (shoulder), defensive back Brett Lockett (chest) and defensive lineman Darryl Richard (foot).

The loss of Bodden could thrust first-round draft pick Devin McCourty into a starting spot. The other first-stringer is expected to be Darius Butler, a second-round pick last year.

Bodden joined the Patriots before the 2009 season as a free agent after five seasons with the Cleveland Browns and one with the Detroit Lions. He started 14 of the 15 games he played, returned one interception for a 53-yard touchdown, forced a fumble and recovered another. He tied a team record with three interceptions Nov. 22 in a 31-14 victory over the New York Jets.

The Patriots picked up Barrett on waivers Aug. 6 from the Denver Broncos. Lockett played primarily on special teams after being claimed off waivers last Sept. 7 from Cleveland. Richard, a seventh-round pick last year, spent the season on the practice squad. Johnson is an undrafted rookie from California (Pa.) University.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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