Belichick, Patriots on losing Wilfork for the season
FOXBORO, Mass. (WHDH) -- At well over 300-pounds, Vince Wilfork fills a whole lot of space on the Patriots defensive line and his quick feet and hands demand the full attention of opposing teams.
The truth is, no one on the Patriots roster, can do what Wilfork does.
Vince Wilfork will remain on the sidelines for the rest of the year. Wilfork reportedly tore his right Achilles tendon, ending his season. This leaves a major hole in the middle of the Patriots defense.
"Yeah it doesn't look too good for Vince. I think he's got a pretty serious injury. And it's probably pretty unlikely he'll be able to play again this year,” said Coach Bill Belichick.
"Vince has been a staple for a long time, and he rarely goes out with injury, so it was shocking and suprising to see my friend go down like that,” said Patriot Jerod Mayo.
Logan Mankins faces off against the big man in practice every day, and knows what the Patriots will be missing.
"Vince, he's a key player for us, one of our best defensive player's, one of our captains. Can't say enough good things about Vince,” said Logan Mankins.
The Patriots are now without the anchor of their defense. They have some big shoes to fill and they know there is no one player capable of replacing Wilfork.
"Clearly there are no Vince Wilforks standing out there on the corner waiting to sign with the patriots or some other NFL team. He's a special player. One of the very best at his position,” said Belichick.
Undrafted rookie Joe Vellano stepped in for Wilfork and racked up a sack and as Jerod Mayo says, that's how the show must go on.
"That’s our mentality - next man up - lot of great people, great players, great leaders in the organization in general,” said Jerod Mayo.
"Someone's going to have to step up and fill in the middle. I mean he was a wall. You could count on him every game. He disrupted the offense,” said Brian Gagnon, a Patriots fan.
The Patriots survived Sunday night's game in Atlanta without big Vince, improving to 4-and-0.
Now we'll see how they fare without the big man over the long haul, with a long way to go this season.