The New England Patriots suffered a huge loss despite a big victory of the Atlanta Falcons Sunday night at the Georgia Dome. As NFL.com reports on September 30, Patriots Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork will miss the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles tendon.
Wilfork, who has been slowed by a foot injury, suffered the injury in the first quarter of Sunday night’s game. The loss will be a big blow to the Patriots much-improved defense because of the size and experience Wilfork provided in the middle of the defensive line. At a solid 325 pounds, Wilfork was stout against the run and constantly drew double teams from the opposing team’s offensive line.
The Patriots, who were already thin at the defensive tackle position, will have to rely heavenly on 10-year veteran Tommy Kelly and Undrafted rookie Joe Vellano who recorded a sack in Wilfork’s place.
It will be tough to replace a force like Wilfork but the Patriots can turn to a former star who would be familiar with the defense. The team could turn to free-agent Richard Seymour, who would need to mend fences with head coach Bill Belichick or the team could re-sign defensive end Andre Carter who previously led the Patriots in sacks and could help fill the leadership role.