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Report: Chandler Jones (hip) to miss about a month

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The New England Patriots are facing the extended absence of their top pass rusher.

The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that defensive end Chandler Jones could miss "about a month" due to a hip injury, according to a league source. Jones didn't practice Tuesday.

It's surprising news on a player who played 84 of 87 defensive snaps in last Thursday's win against the New York Jets. Jones has been far and away the Patriots' most consistent pass rusher, collecting 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble in seven games. He led the Patriots with 11.5 sacks last season.

The Patriots could have serious issues getting to the quarterback with Jones on the shelf. New England enters Week 8 with 18 sacks, tied for 10th in the NFL.

New England added a new body on defense earlier Tuesday when they acquired linebacker Akeem Ayers in a trade with the Tennessee Titans.

To further fortify their defense, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported late Tuesday that defensive end Alan Branch has agreed to a one-year deal with the Patriots. according to a source apprised of the deal. Branch was released by the Buffalo Bills in August following a DUI arrest.

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