Sunday’s game out in Oakland was a physical one to say the least, and it appears it cost New England one of their best defensive players, at least until probably around Thanksgiving.


Mayo’s expected to be out for a while, but at least he wasn’t lost for the season. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

Linebacker Jerod Mayo went down during a play in the second quarter where he was seen wrestling with Raiders offensive lineman Steve Wisniewski, and appeared to plant awkwardly with his left knee.

After the play was over, the veteran linebacker hobbled a bit before going down, and was later carted off the field before the half.

The good news is the injury was the result of a non-contact play, and according to Tom Curran of CSNNE.com is just an MCL sprain and isn’t expected to be season ending.  The bad news is that according to published reports, he’s expected to miss up to six weeks, and if that holds true, that means he’ll miss five games, with the bye week coming up in two weeks.

Teammate Vince Wilfork said after yesterday’s game that other guys are simply going to have to step up while he’s out.

“You know what?  Everyone practices.  We practice certain situations with different personnel in the game with different people in the game in practice, so we were very confident – whoever came into the game that they knew what they were doing and we could go with it,” said Wilfork. “That’s one thing that we try to do, is hold one another accountable, because you never know what may happen.  People had to step today and they did.”

“He’s our top defender.  He’s a top defender in this league.  Anytime you have a top defender on the field, it always betters your chances to win.  But you know what? We’re going to have to keep rolling, we will keep rolling.  The ball won’t stop, I think when the opportunities for different guys [come] to step up, they have to step up.  That’s what’s going to have to happen now.”

On tap for the Patriots are the Jets at home on Sunday, followed by a visit from the Cowboys the following week.  Then after the bye they’ll visit the Steelers, come home for one game against the Giants, and then they’ll head down to the Meadowlands for their second meeting against the Jets.

Needless to say it’s a tough stretch to lose him for, and hopefully Gary Guyton, who stepped in Sunday after he went down, can play well enough to help keep the team rolling forward.