Jerod Mayo had surgery Tuesday on a torn pectoral muscle, and his return to the team for the 2013 season is "not likely", according to a source.
Les Carpenter of Yahoo! Sports was first to report the news.
The Patriots’ linebacker has 55 tackles and 1.5 sacks so far this year but his contributions to the Patriots go far beyond stats.
Mayo is the conduit from Bill Belichick to the rest of the Patriots defense. He’s the on-field general, the signal-caller and the most veteran player on the defense since Vince Wilfork’s gone down.
Beyond all that, Mayo’s been playing at an extremely high level the past two weeks. Against Cincinnati, in the first game without Wilfork, Mayo and Brandon Spikes were needed to step up in the running game. Mayo showed what a tremendous run stopper he can be in that game. This past week, Mayo spent a ton of time in coverage against Darren Sproles. He was outstanding in that role.
On Monday, Belichick said, “I think Jerod has great versatility. That’s what makes him such a good linebacker. He’s good in the running game and very instinctive. He’s a good tackler and he can run. He’s athletic and can play in pass coverage. He’s a very good pass defender as well.”
The Saints game, Belichick explained, shined a light on the indispensability of a player like Mayo. So many teams use multiple receivers, you need defenders who can do multiple things.
“A lot of times they’re really in four receivers and almost always in three receivers and rarely are they only in two,” he said. “So, a lot of sub defense, a lot of that type of matchup, somebody has to take the back and you already have three, sometimes four receivers in the game, so unless you start playing six defensive backs, which we did some in the second half, you just run out of guys to cover a back with. …It was obviously a big throwing game and Jerod has been a very good pass defender for us on backs and a good tackler. Even if they catch it on screen plays and things like that, he does a good job of tackling them.”
Wilfork and Mayo are both captains and both the kind of two-for-one players that are rare in the league. With Mayo down, Dane Fletcher and Jamie Collins are going to be pressed into additional service.