The New England Patriots are preparing for life without their leading rusher, as Fred Taylor's injured right ankle will require surgery, according to a source close to the situation. The surgery is not expected to sideline Taylor for the season, assuming there are no complications. Taylor injured the ankle on his final carry of Sunday's 27-21 win over the Ravens, a 3-yard rush in which he came up hobbling after charging hard into the middle of the Baltimore defense. He has been held out of practice the last two days. The 33-year-old Taylor, who is in his first season with the Patriots after spending the first 11 years of his career with the Jaguars, has been instrumental in helping providing more balance to a New England offense that skewed heavily toward the pass the first two weeks of the season. In a Sept. 27 win over the Falcons, he rushed for 105 yards on 21 carries, logging the team's only individual 100-yard performance of the season. In the process, he moved past John Riggins into 15th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list. The Patriots have been rotating their backs this season, but Taylor has totaled a team-high 45 carries for 201 yards (4.5 avg.). Laurence Maroney (27 carries), Kevin Faulk (16) and Sammy Morris (13) have also shared some of the load, while second-year player BenJarvus Green-Ellis - who has been active for just one game this season - is another option to pick up some of the slack.