ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The New England Patriots sound like a team prepared to be without All-Pro linebacker Jerod Mayo for a long time.
Mayo injured his knee while tackling Buffalo Bills running back Anthony Dixon with 7:40 left in the first half. Mayo’s knee buckled as Dixon drove into him, and the defensive captain had to be carted off the field. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Mayo’s injury is “significant.”
The Patriots made a promise to Mayo as he was helped off the field, and they fulfilled it with a 37-22 win over the Bills.
“Leader. That’s the word that sticks out — his leadership that we will miss,” Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis said after the game in the visitors locker room of Ralph Wilson Stadium. “It’s tragic what happened. We’ve got a lot of respect for Jerod, and what he has done for this organization. We just hope for a fast recovery and hope he can get back as fast as he can. The big word that sticks out is his leadership he has on the defense. He affects all of us.
“We were right there when he got hurt, and we told him we were going to win this game for him. A lot of these guys felt the same way because of how much respect we’ve got and what he’s done for this organization.”
Revis suffered a season-ending torn ACL in 2012 with the New York Jets, and he knows the difficulty of the recovery process. Mayo suffered a season-ending torn pectoral this time last year, so he also knows how difficult recovering from a severe injury can be.
“I’ve been through an ACL injury, and I don’t wish knee injuries on anybody,” Revis said. “It’s tough — it’s a tough process of rehabbing afterwards. It’s a miserable time. You have to surround great people around you and a great support system, and I know Jerod’s got that, and he has it here as a team. We’re trying to do the best we can to make sure he has that support and just hope for a fast recovery.”
The Patriots seemed to know the severity of Mayo’s injury as soon as the cart came out for him. Mayo left the stadium on crutches with a sleeve over his knee.
“When somebody’s getting carted off the field, you know it’s something severe, something bad,” Revis said. “Because usually guys get up, and they might shake it off. We kinda — you can kinda sense it, but at the same time, everything just happens to fast.”
The Patriots are still holding out hope that Mayo’s injury isn’t as severe as it looked.
“Obviously it was a little bittersweet with Jerod going down in the first half,” Belichick said about the Patriots’ win. “I hope he’s OK.”
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