The New England Patriots took a huge hit to their defense Sunday night with nose tackle Vince Wilfork reportedly suffering a torn Achilles tendon. The injury would mean an abrupt end to Wilfork’s season and a major void for the Patriots along their defensive line.
Wilfork is maybe the most important cog in the Patriots’ defense. His ability to consistently occupy multiple blockers along the offensive line frees up other players on defense to flow freely to the football. Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady knows the loss of Wilfork will be a major blow to their defensive front.
“To say we’ll miss him is an understatement,” Brady said in an interview with Jim Gray on Westwood One radio. “His presence in the locker room and on the field is really unmatched.”
Players the size and speed of Wilfork can’t be found on the street so the Patriots will have to find ways to fill the void in more creative ways. Wilfork has been a constant for the Patriots on defense for the last decade. He’s missed just six games since the start of the 2005 season. Finding a way to play without him and remain productive will be a pivotal step for the Patriots to remain as successful after
“I think we’ve learned over the years that there’s not one player that makes the team,” Brady said. “Certainly losing a guy like Vince doesn’t help our team in any way, but we’re going to have to find somebody to go in there and do the job of that nose tackle position and do it to the level that they’re capable of. It’s a team sport so the rest of the team has to pick up the pieces.”