Vince Wilfork was placed on injured reserve Thursday, officially ending his season.
On early Monday morning, Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran confirmed a Boston Globe report that Wilfork had torn his Achilles and would miss the remainder of the season. On Thursday, the Patriots made it official.
The team also announced that they had signed free-agent receiver Austin Collie to take Wilfork's vacated spot on the 53-man roster.
Wilfork's wife, Bianca, tweeted a photo of Wilfork on a hospital bed after his surgery this week. In a statement, Wilfork acknowledged that it was the first surgical procedure he had been forced to undergo in his 10-year professional football career. His only other surgery, he said, came back in high school.
"I know what signing up to play football means and I know the rewards and risks," read a portion of the statement he released on Tuesday. "This is my job and I will switch positions for now and play the role of patient but that is only temporary."
Wilfork's presence in the middle of the Patriots defensive line will be missed. It is a spot where the Patriots are relatively thin. Aside from veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, the team has undrafted rookie Joe Vellano and rookie Chris Jones, who was taken in the sixth round by the Texans in April.
When Wilfork left Sunday night's 30-23 win over the Falcons in the first quarter, Vellano and Jones stepped in to play 33 and 20 snaps, respectively.
"Somebody's gotta pick up the slack obviously when a big-time guy goes down, which is the sad thing about football," Vellano said Thursday. "But our team did a great job. Guys stepped and played hard."