Patriots Place G Stephen Neal on IR

The New England Patriots have placed guard Stephen Neal on injured reserve.

Neal had missed the last three games with a shoulder injury.

A wrestler at Cal State-Bakersfield, Neal signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2001. Neal entered the starting lineup in 2004, and has started 80 games over the last seven seasons.

Neal signed a two-year contract extension in March that includes a $3 million base salary in 2011.

Veteran Dan Connolly, who had been starting at left guard in place of Logan Mankins, will continue to start at right guard.

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