The New England Patriots made a statement on Sunday night by defeating the Atlanta Falcons on the road, but it was not all good news for Bill Belichick’s squad after the victory. Vince Wilfork left the game in the first quarter with a foot injury and was unable to return. According to Shalize Manza Young of the Boston Globe, Wilfork tore his right Achilles’ tendon.
An injury of that magnitude would almost certainly end the 31-year-old’s season. Wilfork is a defensive captain for the Patriots and one of the most underrated players in football. He has been the anchor of New England’s defense for years, playing a role that rarely receives any credit but has been incredibly important.
The Patriots have very few options at defensive tackle beyond Wilfork and veteran Tommy Kelly, which has already led to speculation that they could look for help via a trade or free agency. Former Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour is still a free agent, though he did not exit New England on the best of terms five years ago.
Without Wilfork, the Patriots will likely have to change their defensive approach. His ability to absorb two or three blocks at a time has made New England one of the most effective teams against the run for several years. Now that their secondary seems to be rounding into form with Aqib Talib looking like a shutdown corner, teams could look to attack the Patriots on the ground early and often.Google+