The New England Patriots will most likely be without Vince Wilfork for the remainder of the season, as he suffered a devastating injury against the Atlanta Falcons yesterday. Wilfork tore his Achilles, and there really no other updates at this point in time, which makes it all the more nerve-wracking for Patriots fans. Wilfork’s impact on the Patriots is obviously huge, and everyone knows just how important he is from a leadership perspective. His ability to swallow up blocks and free up pass rushers, his football IQ, and his Hall of Fame-level run defense will be sorely missed over the course of the season. The Patriots other DTs are more than capable pass rushers, but none of them are nearly as good as Vince Wilfork is against the run.
New England Patriots slot cornerback Kyle Arrington is well-regarded for his work ethic and intangibles, and he had an interesting nugget about how Wilfork’s work ethic even trumps his own. Arrington said on Mut & Merloni, “Vince is one of the first guys here. People say that all the time: Well, he’s the first guy here, last one to leave. But honestly, as early as I try to get here myself, I can never beat Vince into the building. Just a tremendous guy not only on the field but off the field. Everybody knows what kind of guy he is in the community. So, it’s unfortunate and sad to see a guy like that get hurt. Like I said, I definitely wish him the best, and hopefully he can get back soon.”
Bill Belichick took his turn to praise Vince Wilfork, “We’ll just have to see how things turn out here.But he’s an outstanding player, we all know that. He gives us great leadership and he’s a strong contributor on and off the field and in the locker room and everything else. We’ll just have to see how things come together for him and also what, obviously if he’s not there, it will mean everybody having to pull a little bit more weight on their end.”
The Patriots will need undrafted rookie defensive tackles like Joe Vellano and Marcus Forston or A.J. Francis (depending on who gets the call-up from the practice squad) to step up with Wilfork out indefinitely.