ARLINGTON, Texas — Deatrich Wise didn’t sugarcoat it: Matthew Judon’s injury is an enormous blow to the Patriots’ defense.

Judon suffered an elbow injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 38-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Postgame reports indicated the Pro Bowl edge rusher tore a tendon in his biceps and is expected to miss time, though exactly how much was unclear as of Sunday night.

Wise, a Patriots defensive end and team captain, was asked about the significance of losing a player like Judon.

His response: “Devastating. Devastating.”

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Wise’s ensuing comments suggested the Patriots are expecting a long layoff for their best defensive player. Biceps tears often are season-ending injuries.

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“He was in good spirits,” Wise said of Judon. “We’ll be with him mentally throughout this year, and I know he’ll be with us, too. There will be some guys behind him who will be stepping up and filling in his spot.”

He added: “Always hate when guys get hurt.”

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Judon has been terrific for the Patriots since his arrival in 2021. Entering Sunday’s games, only Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt and Nick Bosa had more sacks than Judon’s 32 since the start of the ’21 season. The 31-year-old also has played in every game since joining the Patriots and earned back-to-back Pro Bowl selections.

Third-year linebackers Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings should take on larger roles in Judon’s absence. Second-round rookie Keion White also could see his playing time increase.

The Patriots also lost another key defender earlier in Sunday’s game. Stud rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez injured his shoulder during the first quarter and did not return. New England already was without corners Jonathan Jones, Jack Jones and Marcus Jones, leaving it with Myles Bryant and Shaun Wade as its only two options at the position.

Head coach Bill Belichick said Gonzalez’s injury “of course” impacted how the Patriots wanted to play defensively. Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb beat Bryant — who’s been forced to play out of position as an outside corner to account for the Patriots’ myriad injuries — for a 20-yard touchdown on the very next play.

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The 1-3 Patriots will host the 2-2 New Orleans Saints next Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Featured image via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images