New England Patriots greatest defensive tackle Vince Wilfork underwent surgery this Tuesday to repair a torn Achilles he suffered on the Atlanta Falcons first offensive series during the Sunday’s game. It has been only days since the injury, and the absence of Wilfork from the team is greatly missed. And Tom Brady couldn’t have said it better in an interview with Jim Gray on Westwood One radio. “To say we’ll miss him is an understatement. His presence in the locker room and on the field is really unmatched.”
Jul 26, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork (75) stretches during training camp at the practice fields of Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Mrs. Bianca Wilfork was kind enough to tweet Wilfork’s picture saying that surgery was successful. Wilfork is such a cool person that even in the midst of a season ending injury, he still maintains a positive look in his face. In the meantime, coach Bill Belichick has to tune his brain up a notch into finding and developing a defensive scheme that will work to “replace”, or better yet, put on a band-aid on the defense until Wilfork comes back.
Since when the 2013 draft started, I was hoping the Patriots would focus on drafting a player that would help out Wilfork in case something like this happened, and also for future investment. Even with the acquisition of Tommy Kelly in free agency, it still feels that there’s a thin back up layer in defense tackle position. Undrafted free agent rookie Joe Vellano has stepped up to the challenge on Sunday (and I loved Vellano ferocious move on Peter Konz leading up to his sack on Matt Ryan), and rookie Chris Jones looks promising as well, mainly in the pass game.
We’ll see how Belichick will plug-in the pieces for the puzzle as Armond Armstead might be ready to face the season after he is removed from the non-football injury list for an infection. And it also there is a possibility that Marcus Forston and A.J. Francis might be removed from the practice-squad.
It’s also great news for rookie Aaron Dobson. There’s no damage in his neck, just dealing with back and neck soreness, but his availability for Sunday’s game is uncertain.