Dowling placed on injured reserve

LONDON -- The Patriots announced that second-year cornerback Ras-I Dowling has been placed on season-ending injured reserve. Dowling has an injured thigh, according to the team.

A second-round draft choice of the Patriots in 2011 -- the top pick of the round (33rd overall) -- Dowling opened his rookie season as a starter but missed the remainder of the season with a hip injury that later required surgery.

Dowling opened this season as the team's nickel back, but slipped down the depth chart after the first game. He was starting to see more playing time in recent weeks, both in the nickel and dime defenses, but left Sunday's win over the Jets with the thigh injury and didn't return.

With the Patriots likely to use Devin McCourty at safety for the second week in a row, the top three cornerbacks look like rookie Alfonzo Dennard, four-year veteran Kyle Arrington and second-year player Sterling Moore. Fourth-year veteran Marquice Cole adds depth.