|10.13.14 at 7:57 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Sunday’s win over the Bills came with a big price.
The Patriots lost running back Stevan Ridley for the season with a torn ACL and MCL and also their leader on defense — captain Jerod Mayo to a ‘severe lower right leg’ injury, also reportedly ending his season.
It’s the second straight season Mayo has been lost for the year in Week 6 after he tore his pectoral last season and it gets no easier for his teammates, both coping with the injury as well as replacing him in the middle of the field at his middle linebacker position.
“With that happening yesterday, it was a blow,” fellow captain Matthew Slater said. “You can’t try and pretend it’s one of those things you can pick up and move on from because you feel for a guy like Jerod. I came in with Jerod, we were rookies together and to see him go down I know took a toll on me, but we have to do the best we can to bounce back.
“A lot of guys have to step up because a guy like that is hard to replace — not only what he does on the field, but who he is in this locker room. His leadership, the man that he is. A lot of guys can emulate and imitate because of who he is. Hopefully we can play well for him the rest of the year, but like I said there is no replacing him with one guy, it’s going to take a lot of guys stepping up.”
With all the season-ending injuries the defense had to deal with last season — including Mayo’s — defensive end/linebacker Rob Ninkovich was forced into playing much more than he was accustomed to and played quite well. Once again, it will take efforts like that to replace Mayo.
|10.13.14 at 7:27 pm ET|
Every week over the course of the 2014 season, we’ll provide a look at the Patriots pass rush numbers. Like all stats, the numbers have to be placed on context of game-situations and personnel. And while sacks can be overrated, when evaluated as part of a bigger picture that includes quarterback hits and quarterback pressures (the latter courtesy of Pro Football Focus), it should provide a good picture as to which defenders are consistently able to get after the quarterback. Currently, the Patriots are tied for 7th in the league in sacks with 15. Based on the official NFL game books and PFF, here’s a look at the pass-rush numbers for the Patriots after six games for the 2014 regular season:
Sacks (via gamebooks)
DE Rob Ninkovich: 4 (29 yards)
DE Chandler Jones: 3.5 (13 yards)
LB Dont’a Hightower: 2 (22 yards)
DL Chris Jones: 1.5 (12 yards)
LB Deontae Skinner: 1 (10 yards)
LB Jerod Mayo: 1 (9 yards)
DL Joe Vellano: 1 (4 yards)
DB Kyle Arrington: 1 (0 yards)
Quarterback Hits (via gamebooks)
DE Rob Ninkovich: 7
DE Chandler Jones: 6
LB Dont’a Hightower: 4
LB Jerod Mayo: 2
LB Jamie Collins: 2
DL Chris Jones: 1
DL Joe Vellano: 1
LB Deontae Skinner: 1
Quarterback Hurries (via PFF)
DE Chandler Jones: 9
LB/DE Rob Ninkovich: 9
LB Jerod Mayo: 5
LB Dont’a Hightower: 5
DL Vince Wilfork: 5
DL Chris Jones: 4
DL Sealver Siliga: 2
DL Joe Vellano: 2
DL Casey Walker: 2
DL Dominique Easley: 1
LB Jamie Collins: 1
CB Alfonzo Dennard: 1
|10.13.14 at 6:27 pm ET|
The worst fears have been realized for Jerod Mayo and the Patriots.
The veteran middle linebacker and Patriots defensive captain suffered a season-ending right leg injury in Sunday’s 37-22 win over the Bills, multiple sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Those sources tell Schefter that the injury is “bad,” leading to the assumption that he will require major corrective surgery. This comes one year to the month when he tore his pectoral muscle and missed the second half of the 2013 season.
Earlier in the day, Bill Belichick indicated that “no one guy” will be able to replace Mayo or do for the Patriots what the seven-year veteran out of Tennessee does in the middle of the New England defense.
Patriots LB Jerod Mayo is out for the year after suffering a lower right leg injury that multiple sources say ‘is bad’.
‘ Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 13, 2014
|10.13.14 at 5:46 pm ET|
New England’s win against the Bills saw an improved Tom Brady and a strong defense, especially in the second half. Yet all of the news from the game was not positive. Both Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley suffered injuries, which Belichick said could be serious.
“They’re undergoing some tests this afternoon, and we’ll just follow up on it,” Belichick said. “Unfortunately I don’t think it looks too good, but we’ll see what we get back. … We’ll wait till we get more specific information, but I don’t think it’s minor, let’s put it that way.”
For the Patriots, this would not be the first time they would be without Mayo, as he was injured last season. This gave the defense some familiarity with what it is like to play without one of their captains.
Said Belichick: “I’m sure every player gains from being in there from game experience and playing time. It’s still very bittersweet to lose a player of Jerod’s magnitude and what he means to the team — and how much he embraces the team and how much the team embraces him. Nobody works harder, nobody is more unselfish and more dependable than he is. We hope it’s not too serious.”
Continued Belichick: “Jerod just works extremely hard to do his job well so everyone can depend on him. He’s very unselfish, he does it for the team. Whatever will help the team, he’ll do. Even if it’s a sacrifice he has to make. When you think of a team player, I think of his picture next to those words.”
With Ridley out, the Patriots will need to replace his production out of the backfield. Belichick said the staff will make some evaluations before coming to a final decision. Read the rest of this entry »
|10.13.14 at 5:43 pm ET|
Ridley was having a productive season as through six games, he has 94 carries for 340 yards with a pair of touchdowns. He also has had hit a stretch of 161 consecutive straight touches without a fumble (including the regular season and postseason) dating back to last November — coming off of a stretch where he had ball security issues.
“Stevan put a lot of work in this offseason preparing himself, making himself better, improving his game and he was doing a good job for us,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said. “We asked a lot of him and he gave us a lot. That is another situation you hate to see the cruel affects of this game with the injuries. It’s definitely heartbreaking to see guys go down like that. Again, we have to do as good of a job as we can to continue to move on and play well.”
The Patriots now are left with running backs Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden and James White on the active roster as well as Jonas Gray on the practice squad.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|10.13.14 at 5:25 pm ET|
A day after his old team defeated his new one, linebacker Brandon Spikes expressed regret that he wasn’t able to back up some of the offseason boasts he made about knocking off the Patriots.
“I think I talked a lot of trash in the offseason and we weren’t able to back it up. That’s what hurts me the most,” Spikes told reporters a day after New England beat Buffalo, 37-22, at Ralph Wilson Stadium. “I pride myself on being a man of my word, and it just let [Buffalo] down. It’s just unfortunate.”
Spikes, who left the Patriots as a free agent following the 2013 season, Tweeted out over the offseason a guarantee that his new team would beat his old one. But that didn’t happen Sunday in the first contest of the season between New England and Buffalo.
After the game, Spikes shared a few moments with old head coach Bill Belichick, and spent time catching up with his old teammates in the tunnel outside the Buffalo locker room.
“We worked so hard in OTAs, the offseason, training camp, just for this game. It was disappointing. Just come out and trip it off like that. They played well. I’ll give my hats off to them,” he said. “[Tom] Brady came out and — it don’t surprise me. He’s a competitor. He’s always looking to get better.
“With that guy being in this conference, he’s the guy you gotta beat. It’s that simple. We all know that.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|10.13.14 at 5:16 pm ET|
The Patriots announced Monday they have re-signed offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann to the practice squad and released offensive lineman Chris Martin from the practice squad. Here’s a portion of the release from the team:
Hauptmann, 23, was originally signed to the Patriots practice squad on Sept. 16, 2014, before being released on Oct. 8, 2014. He originally signed with the Cleveland Browns as a rookie free agent out of Florida International on April 30, 2013. The 6-3, 300-pounder, was released by Cleveland at the end of training camp and was signed to the practice squad. Seattle signed him to the 53-man roster on Sept. 23. Hauptmann was inactive for 10 games, and dressed but did not play in three others and was inactive for all three postseason games. He was released by Seattle on Aug. 30, 2014, and claimed off waivers by Cleveland on Aug. 31, 2014. The Browns released him on Sept. 2, 2014.
Martin, 24, was originally signed by Houston as a rookie free agent out of Central Florida on May 16, 2014. The 6-foot-5, 305-pounder, was released by Houston on May 27 and signed by the Patriots on June 23, 2014. Martin was released on Aug. 30 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1 before being released on Sept. 26. He was re-signed to the New England practice squad on Oct. 8.
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