Devin McCourty suffers shoulder injury

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New England Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty suffered a right shoulder injury in Sunday night's 37-16 win against the New York Jets after absorbing a hit from teammate Sterling Moore trying to defend a second-quarter pass.

After McCourty broke up a pass intended for Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress, Moore launched into his teammate from the opposite direction, leading with his helmet. Moore, a rookie signed off the practice squad this week and starting his first NFL game in place of injured Patrick Chung, didn't make much contact with Burress, but was still flagged for a personal foul for unnecessary roughness.

McCourty was attended to by Patriots trainers before walking off the field. He soon returned to the locker room, holding his right arm steady, and did not return. He was replaced by Antwaun Molden at cornerback. After the game, WBZ-TV reported the injury to be a separated right shoulder.

It is not known how long the injury will sideline McCourty. If McCourty is out for an extended period, the Patriots will likely turn to Molden as a starter opposite Kyle Arrington. Molden was benched two weeks ago in Pittsburgh in favor of Phillip Adams, but this may give the former Houston Texans third-round pick a chance at redeeming himself.

The Patriots already have lost 2011 second-round pick Ras-I Dowling (hip) for the season, so losing McCourty would deal another blow to an already-reeling secondary.