The Patriots improved to 4-0 on Sunday night in Atlanta, but they may have lost a key member of their defense for the rest of the season on their way to the victory.
Fans in the Georgia Dome booed when defensive tackle Vince Wilfork went down with an injury early in the contest because they decided he was faking an injury to slow down a Falcons drive, something that made them look silly when Wilfork was carted to the locker room. The Patriots announced that Wilfork has an ankle injury and he was seen leaving the stadium on Sunday night in a walking boot.
Those quick to boo fans look even sillier now that Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe reports that Wilfork has torn his right Achilles tendon. If the injury is as severe as reported, Wilfork will be lost for the rest of the season. He was primarily replaced by undrafted rookie Joe Vellano, who had a sack on Sunday night, but the Patriots might look for other solutions to deal with a long-term absence.
Losing Wilfork would make for a major change to the New England defense. Wilfork hasn’t missed a game since 2009 and just six games over the course of his career, providing stability as the unit around him has turned over multiple times.