Jerod Mayo’s season has ended early for the third consecutive year.
The New England Patriots placed Mayo on season-ending injured reserve after the veteran linebacker suffered a shoulder ailment Saturday, a source told NESN.com and the team later confirmed. Mayo played seven snaps before suffering the injury in the Patriots’ divisional-round playoff win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Patriots are left with Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Jonathan Freeny, Darius Fleming, Dekoda Watson and Jonathan Bostic at linebacker for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos. Hightower has been hindered with a sprained knee since Week 12, and Collins suffered a back injury against the Chiefs.
Mayo played all 16 regular-season games for the Patriots, starting eight and totaling 47 tackles with one sack and one pass breakup. He played in just six games in both 2013 (pectoral injury) and 2014 (knee ailment).
Mayo is due a $4 million roster bonus in 2016, and he would carry an $11.4 million salary-cap hit. It’s highly unlikely Mayo would be back with the Patriots at that cost, though the defensive captain could re-do his contract to stay with the team.
Mayo was selected 10th overall in 2008, when he was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2012, and was a first-team All-Pro in 2010.
The Patriots now have an available slot on their active 53-man roster.
Mayo is the 21st Patriots player to be placed on a reserve list this season.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) avoids a sack by New England Patriots middle linebacker Jerod Mayo (51) and defensive end Chandler Jones (95) during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
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