The New England Patriots‘ defense has looked like one of the most improved units in the NFL this year. Despite losing defensive tackle Vince Wilfolk, arguably the Patriots’ best player on defense, to a torn Achilles, the Patriots are 13th against the pass, a category they’ve finished near the bottom of the league in over the last few seasons.
That improved unit was dealt another huge blow Tuesday.
According to Les Carpenter of Yahoo Sports, Pro Bowl linebacker Jerod Mayo had surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle and could be out for the rest of the season.
Mayo, who is the Patriots’ best and most experienced linebacker, was seen with his arm in a sling following the Patriots’ 30-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints Sunday.
Mayo has recorded 55 tackles through six games, tops on the team.
Carpenter points out that most pectoral muscle tears end players’ season, citing Chicago Bears linebacker D.J. Williams, who was recently diagnosed with the same injury and will miss the rest of the season. Carpenter also cites Brian Orakpo of the Washington Redskins, who “missed most of the last two seasons with pectoral injuries.”
The Patriots will take on the New York Jets at 1:00 pm EST Sunday.