From the Providence Journal’s Tom Curran and Shalise Manza Young :

The Patriots put cornerback Tyrone Poole on injured reserve last night, ending the 32-year-old’s season and amping up the pressure for the young corners who have been working in his place for most of the season.

Poole, who’s been attempting a gutsy return, originally injured a knee in the third game of the season against the Bills. After missing a game, he attempted to come back two weeks later against Seattle. He aggravated the injury and needed surgery. Rehabbing hard and fast, Poole got back on the field last week against Cincinnati but played fewer than 10 plays.

He was listed as questionable throughout this week on the injury report but evidently (there was no access to the Patriots’ brass immediately after the announcement) Poole and the team decided shutting him down was the best idea.

Rookie Randall Gay and second-year man Asante Samuel have been playing pretty well in temporary roles as Poole and Ty Law — the team’s starting corners — have been out since the third and seventh weeks, respectively. But with Poole out for good, they are no longer fill-ins, which means that if and when the Patriots face the ultra-explosive Colts in the playoffs, that will be a perceived mismatch in the New England secondary.