by Scott Benson

The Patriots today placed starting linebacker Rosevelt Colvin on injured reserve with an as-yet unspecified injury that has ended his season.

In an unrelated move, New England released ’07 fourth-rounder Kareem Brown and activated veteran Troy Brown from the physically unable to perform list, giving the team seven receivers on their 53 man active roster.

The team apparently hopes to move the rookie lineman – who was impressive at times during the pre-season – to the team’s practice squad, but as of this afternoon, he is eligible to sign with any team.

Despite the sentimentality associated with the activation of Troy Brown, one of the franchise’s most beloved figures, the loss of Colvin is the major news today.

Colvin was reported to have suffered a foot injury during Sunday’s win over Philadelphia, though soon after, reports surfaced that the injury was to his arm.  Coach Bill Belichick did little to clear up the confusion during press sessions on Monday.

Veteran Chad Brown, who has been with the Pats on and off since the 2005 season, was signed Tuesday to take Colvin’s place on the roster. However, the move does little to assuage concerns about the team’s linebacking corps, which now finds itself precariously thin with the loss of Colvin.

Adalius Thomas, who recently enjoyed success on the outside after manning one of the inside spots for most of the season, seems a likely candidate to move to the edge to replace Colvin. If it’s not Thomas, it’s hard to say who it would be – Chad Brown and special teamer Pierre Woods are the only other outside linebackers on the current roster.

Yet if Thomas is moved to the edge on a more permanent basis, that will leave only Tedy Bruschi, Junior Seau and Eric Alexander to cover the inside spots. Perhaps another alternative might be greater use of the four-man line that the team has used to great effect at points throughout the season.

Troy Brown is as revered here as much as anywhere, and we wouldn’t put it past the Pats Hall of Famer to find a way to make a contribution as the team attempts to win its fourth Super Bowl of the decade. But let’s be serious – it’s a minor footnote to the much larger news of a lost starter on what may be the team’s most suspect unit.  There is little that Troy Brown can do to help them with that.