Sept. 28, 1968

There were few Boston Patriots whose absence would be noticed during this 4-10 season.

Jim Nance was one of them. 

The American Football League Most Valuable Player in 1966 thought he would play in the Pats’ Week 4 game at Denver. Then the doctors took another x-ray of his ailing right ankle.

There were no broken bones, but there was serious ligament damage that could be downgraded to catastrophic if he went back into action too soon.

The Pats won at Denver, 20-17. Nance was told he’d be sidelined for three weeks. He cut that down to two weeks, but struggled through his least productive season, rushing for just 593 yards.

It was generally an uneasy season for the Patriots. It began with a home game against the New York Jets – in Birmingham, Ala. With Fenway Park unavailable, and owner Billy Sullivan trying to goose the city and state to help him build new home, they brought Jets QB Joe Namath back to his alma mater.

Not surprisingly, the Jets won, 47-31.

On Dec. 1, the Pats won their final game at Fenway, stomping on the Bengals, 33-14, before 17,796 diehards. Nance rushed for 81 yards.

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