Patriots place Jerod Mayo on season-ending injured reserve, re-sign Andre Neblett
|10.16.13 at 9:52 am ET|
FOXBORO — Jerod Mayo has played his last snap of the season for the Patriots.
Bill Belichick addressed the injury on Wednesday.
“It’s a medical decision,” Belichick said. “He does a lot for us.”
The loss of Mayo as captain means the Patriots will be playing without their two captains on defense. Belichick was asked if there’s a chance he could be replaced.
“If we think that it’s the best thing to do, that’s what we’ll do,” Belichick said.
The Patriots placed the linebacker on injured reserve following surgery on his torn pectoral muscle this week.
Mayo injured the muscle on a tackle of Darren Sproles in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Saints. On the play before New Orleans’ go-ahead touchdown, Sproles came over the middle and was crushed by Mayo and teammate Steve Gregory. Both players laid on the ground for several minutes and Mayo immediately grabbed for his right shoulder and chest area before making his way off the field under his own power.
He did not return. Mayo had played in all but eight of New England’s 399 defensive snaps for the Patriots this season before missing the final seven of the game on Sunday. Mayo didn’t miss a snap against the Bills, Jets, Falcons and Bengals.
The news of Mayo’s surgery comes two weeks after Vince Wilfork had season-ending surgery on his torn right Achilles.
To replace Mayo’s spot on the roster, the team re-signed Andre Neblett and signed cornerback Travis Howard.
Neblett, 25, was signed by the Patriots last Wednesday and released three days later to make room for defensive lineman Marcus Forston. He is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Panthers after joining Carolina as a rookie free agent out of Temple in in 2010. The 6-foot, 310-pounder signed with Tampa Bay as an unrestricted free agent on May 6 but was released by the Buccaneers on Aug. 31. Neblett played in 30 games with seven starts during his three seasons with the Panthers and registered 28 total tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries. Last season, he played in 11 games with two starts and recorded 11 tackles and a half-sack.
Howard, 23, was originally signed by the Texans as a rookie free agent out of Ohio State on May 10. The 6-foot-1, 197-pounder was released by Houston on Aug. 27. He started every game as a junior and senior at Ohio State and totaled 81 tackles, six interceptions and 11 passes defensed during that time.