Mayo on Wilfork: 'Surprising' to see him go down

Mayo on Wilfork: 'Surprising' to see him go down
September 30, 2013, 2:00 pm
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(USA Today Sports)

Vince Wilfork doesn't usually leave games due to injury. So when the Patriots' nose tackle left Sunday night's game with an Achilles injury and didn't return, linebacker Jerod Mayo was witnessing something new in his NFL career.

"Obviously he's been a staple for a long time, and he rarely goes out with injuries," said Mayo in a conference call on Monday. "So it was very shocking and surprising to see my friend go down like that.

"It definitely caught me off guard a little bit because I'm used to always having him in there with me."

Patriots players wouldn't confirm, on Monday, just how bad Wilfork's Achilles injury was, but they did acknowledge just how much he means to the team.

"Obviously, Vince is a huge asset for our team, not only on the field but off the field," said Mayo. "He’s a great leader, he demands double teams in the run game and he also coordinates some of the rushes in the pass game, so a great asset for this defense."

"Vince is a key player for us," said offensive lineman Logan Mankins. "He is one of our best defensive players. He is a captain, and you can’t say enough good things about Vince. [Wilfork] missing the majority of the game was tough last night, but our other tackles stepped up."