Patriots Talk: With Stephon Gilmore gone, how big of an issue is secondary depth?

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Patriots Talk: With Gilmore gone, is secondary depth a big concern? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Stephon Gilmore is no longer a New England Patriot, which means the team likely will continue to roll with the secondary it's had through the first four weeks of the 2021 NFL season.

With Gilmore headed to Carolina, the Patriots' cornerback room consists of J.C. Jackson, Jalen Mills, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Shaun Wade and Justin Bethel. It's a group that has looked solid to this point in the campaign, but can they keep it up for a full 17-game slate?

On a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, Tom E. Curran was joined by Phil Perry and Matt Cassel to discuss whether New England's secondary depth is a major concern going forward.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Going deep on the Stephon Gilmore deal, and could there be trouble in Texas? | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"J.C. Jackson's done a tremendous job," Cassel said. "He held Mike Evans last week to only 20 yards last week in the second half. Then you've got Jalen Mills and I think he did a great job last week as well. He kind of locked down Chris Godwin. They've got depth in the secondary, they're playing well, the real question is if one of those guys goes down, do they have the depth to have somebody else step in. That's the question mark that comes in as these weeks roll on and you get later in the season."

Next Pats: How come the Pats couldn't get more for Gilmore?

Perry agrees an injury or two could be a major issue, as evidenced by Tom Brady connecting with Antonio Brown on the Buccaneers' game-winning drive when Justin Bethel briefly replaced Jonathan Jones.

"It just feels like an issue if somebody gets hurt, and somebody's probably going to get hurt at some point," Perry said. "I like the way this group has played through four weeks, and granted they didn't play the most explosive passing offenses through the first three weeks of the season, but they sort of backed up their first three weeks with what they did in Week 4.

"This is also a group that has really talented and smart safeties, so I think as a secondary overall, they're gonna be OK. But it's just that big old "but" of if someone gets hurt, you could be in real trouble."

Also discussed in this episode: Where does Gilmore rank on the list of Belichickian stunners? How much are the Patriots willing to pay to keep J.C. Jackson? And any concern that the Patriots' line issues will impact getting a win against the Texans?

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube.