Offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, who was expected to fill the void left by Mankins, has what's being descibed as a serious back injury that puts him out indefinitely, the *Boston Herald* reported Saturday, citing a league source.
Kaczur has been out since the second day of training camp. The Herald reports that the Patriots hoped Kaczur would fill Mankins' guard spot, with Sebastian Vollmer taking over at right tackle.
Mankins, a restricted free agent, didn't sign his one-year, $3.26 million tender by the June 15 deadline, so the Patriots cut it to $1.54 million. According to the Herald, Mankins' camp believes the Patriots promised the lineman a long-term deal in 2008, but it didn't happen, leading him to skip the team's organized team activities and minicamp this offseason.
"Logan kept his mouth shut (in 2008)," Bauer told the newspaper. "He's a lunch-pail, down-home guy. A hard-worker who loves the Patriots and loves Bill (Belichick, the team's coach). And hey, I understand the Patriots. The ball is in their court. They do what they have to do, we do what we have to do."