2013 DRAFT GUIDE
LB Jerod Mayo joins list of injured Patriots

By HOWARD ULMAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-16 16:54

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The ''next man up'' philosophy of the New England Patriots is getting seriously tested.

On defense, star linebacker Jerod Mayo went on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday, joining star tackle Vince Wilfork on the list. On Sunday, their best defensive back, Aqib Talib, could be sidelined after hurting his hip. And just when starting tackle Tommy Kelly returns from a knee injury is unknown.

Then there's the offense.

Wide receiver Danny Amendola and guard Dan Connolly suffered concussions last Sunday. Tight end Rob Gronkowski hasn't played all season.

Gronkowski was the only one of those seven to practice on Wednesday, and he was limited.

But the Patriots lead the AFC East by two games.

''A lot of teams face challenges. It's just really how you deal with them,'' Tom Brady said Wednesday. ''We've lost some guys, dealt with some issues, like every other team. We're handling them OK. We're 5-1. It's a decent start.''

But now four of the Patriots' best players are injured on a defense that has allowed the fourth fewest points in the NFL.

Dane Fletcher, who has started five games since joining the Patriots in 2010, could start at outside linebacker for Mayo on Sunday against the New York Jets (3-3).

''Our defense knows what we have to do,'' Fletcher said. ''It's always next man up. It's kind of that philosophy around here and whoever it may be, it's time for them to fill those shoes.''

Those shoes are pretty big.

Mayo, a two-time Pro Bowl standout, has the most tackles in the NFL since 2010 and calls the defensive signals. Wilfork is a five-time Pro Bowler who has anchored the defensive line since 2005.

They're also leaders, the only two defensive co-captains on the team.

''I think of it as Mayo and Vince are still our captains,'' said safety Devin McCourty, a co-captain the past two seasons.

Mayo was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday' 30-27 win over the New Orleans Saints when he and safety Steve Gregory tackled Darren Sproles. Mayo lay on the ground then reached for the upper right area of his chest. Mayo's agent, Mitch Frankel, did not respond to a request for comment on a report that Mayo had undergone surgery for a torn chest muscle.

''I just came down and made the hit,'' Gregory said. ''I didn't know what the extent was.''

Wilfork tore his right Achilles tendon Sept. 29 in a 30-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons then underwent surgery.

''When you lose someone like we did with Vince or Jerod, it's tough,'' Brady said, ''but I'd say a lot of teams deal with it, too.

''As much as you hate to lose guys, there's nothing you can do about it and the season doesn't end. You have to keep fighting on, just as they would want us to, just like they did when I went out, just like they did when guys like Rodney (Harrison) went out. We've lost some pretty key, critical guys over the years. Ty Law got hurt at one point.''

Brady had a season-ending knee injury in the 2008 opener and the Patriots went 11-5 with Matt Cassel at quarterback but missed the playoffs.

Harrison missed the last 13 regular-season games in 2005 and both playoff games with a knee injury.

Law played only the first seven games in 2004 before injuring his foot. The Patriots went on to win their third Super Bowl in four years.

''There are a lot of guys who have been injured,'' Brady said. ''You just have to try to fill the spot and other guys have to pick up the slack.''

One of them is outside linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who is expected to call defensive signals in place of Mayo.

''I'm looking forward to it,'' said Hightower, who has started since being drafted in the first round last year. ''If something ever happened, I knew that I would have to step up and do it. I mean I'm not nervous about it. It's something that I've done before, maybe not in the NFL, but I've done it before.''

Now he expects to do it again.

Mayo is done for the year.

''He does a lot for us on the field, off the field,'' coach Bill Belichick said, ''but we're just going to have to move on.''

--

NOTES: The Patriots re-signed defensive tackle Andre Neblett and signed cornerback Travis Howard to the practice squad. ... The 245-pound Fletcher played nose tackle briefly last Sunday. ''It's something new, huh?'' he said. ''But it's fun. Any way I can get in, I'll take it.''

--

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Marcus TrufantApr 23 06:13p

Free-agent CB Marcus Trufant (Jaguars) will sign a deal with the Seattle Seahawks with the intention of retiring with the team.

Jason Pierre-PaulApr 23 04:33p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) said great and that he will not be limited during offseason workouts. Pierre-Paul has lost 15 pounds this offseason and is comfortable [ More ]

Ryan CladyApr 23 04:23p

Denver Broncos OT Ryan Clady (foot) would not give a timetable for his return but said he does expect to be ready for the start of the regular season.

David WilsonApr 23 04:03p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is feeling good and is just waiting for the doctors to clear him to play again. Wilson said he is [ More ]

Jamar TaylorApr 23 03:53p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor said he considered quitting football after he dealt with injuries during the 2013 season but is ready to play this upcoming season. 'It was [ More ]

Sam BradfordApr 23 03:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford (knee) will start the offseason conditioning program in a limited fashion while still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last season. Head [ More ]

Tyrann MathieuApr 23 03:03p

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said FS Tyrann Mathieu's (knee) rehab is on schedule but believes Mathieu probably will start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform [ More ]

Shaun DraughnApr 23 02:23p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent RB Shaun Draughn (Colts) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Stephen BurtonApr 23 02:03p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have placed WR Stephen Burton on the Reserve/Retired list.

Antrel RolleApr 23 01:13p

New York Giants FS Antrel Rolle, who is entering the final year of his contract, said finishing his career with the Giants would be an ideal situation. Rolle said [ More ]

Frank SummersApr 23 12:33p

The Buffalo Bills have re-signed exclusive rights free-agent FB Frank Summers, WR Chris Hogan, and OG Antoine McClain. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Aldon SmithApr 23 12:23p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was present for the start of offseason workouts Monday, April 21, even though he was arrested in Los Angeles last week.

Dominic RaiolaApr 23 12:23p

Detroit Lions C Dominic Raiola said he would be fine with the team selecting a center during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he understands that he is near the [ More ]

Doug MarroneApr 23 12:03p

Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone had a cancerous mole removed Tuesday, April 22. 'That's basically the end of the story,' Marrone said. 'The recent extraction procedure will have [ More ]

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group