New England coach Bill Belichick has done a masterful job of blending a lot of new faces to start the season 4-0. His job will only get tougher from here.
Vince Wilfork limped off the field in the first half of New England's 30-23 victory against the Atlanta Falcons. Wilfork left with an ankle injury, but Boston.com is reporting he tore his right Achilles' tendon, which likely means he will be out for the season. If he is done, Wilfork, a five-time Pro Bowler, will finish this season with nine tackles in four games.
The loss of Wilfork is a big blow to New England's defense. Rookie defensive tackle Joe Vellano sacked Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the win, and the Patriots also have Chris Jones, but it will be hard to replace Wilfork's strong presence in the middle.
New England has been without tight end Rob Gronkowski as he recovers from a multitude of injuries, while Tom Brady has been working to establish cohesion with receivers Kenbrell Thompkins, Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson. Thompkins had six receptions for 127 yards and one touchdown against Atlanta, Edelman had seven receptions for 118 yards, while Blount had 64 yards and one touchdown during the win.
It is possible New England will sign a free agent defensive tackle to add depth on its defensive line, and this will be another obstacle Belichick will have to overcome this season.