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Jerod Mayo placed on New England Patriots' IR list

The New England Patriots have lost another key piece of their defense.

After placing nose tackle Vince Wilfork on injured reserve two weeks ago with a torn Achilles tendon, the team announced Wednesday that Jerod Mayo will join him on IR after the linebacker tore his right pectoral in Sunday's win over the New Orleans Saints.

"He does a lot for us on the field and off the field. But we're just going to have to move on," coach Bill Belichick told reporters.

It's a crushing blow for a defense that relies heavily on Mayo's ability to play in every situation. In his sixth season, Mayo was on the field for 399 of 407 defensive snaps before he was hurt. It's a loss that can't be patched over, but rookie Jamie Collins will do most of the work in Mayo's place for a defense that's allowed just 16.2 points per game.

Mayo has led the team in tackles for five straight seasons. He won't do it this season, but the Patriots don't have time to mourn the loss. The New York Jets host New England on Sunday and will do all they can to attack a division rival short-handed on defense.

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