Considering the depth the Patriots have at the second level, you could argue losing Christian Gonzalez is a tougher blow than losing Matthew Judon.

But Jerod Mayo, New England’s de facto co-defensive coordinator, believes the defense will be fine.

Gonzalez, like Judon, is expected to be out long-term after suffering an arm injury during Sunday’s road loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The standout rookie corner reportedly suffered a torn labrum just days after being named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month.

“We have good players,” Mayo said during a Tuesday video call. “We always talk about the rush and the coverage have to make up. And so look, we have guys that can play in those roles. Obviously, it hurts to lose a guy like (Gonzalez).

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“But at the same time, we’re kinda going through that whole process, the gameplan process, right now. We feel pretty confident that we have guys that can fill that role.”

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Mayo’s confidence is enviable, but we’re not sure we share it.

Jonathan Jones missed the last three games due to a nagging ankle injury. Second-year pro Marcus Jones is on injured reserve after tearing his labrum in Week 2. Sophomore corner Jack Jones is eligible to come off injured reserve this week, but his hamstring issue reportedly could keep him sidelined until midseason.

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That leaves the Patriots with Myles Bryant (solid), Shaun Wade (not solid), Jalen Mills (better at safety) and sixth-round rookie Ameer Speed (really a special teams player) as the only healthy corners. That’s not good.

Perhaps Jonathan Jones returns this week. Maybe Jack Jones will return sooner than expected. But even if both of those things happen, the Patriots basically will be left with last season’s cornerback group, minus Marcus Jones. Again, that’s not good.

Are the Patriots totally porked without Gonzalez? No, not necessarily. And you can’t discount the possibility of Mayo and Bill Belichick figuring something out.

But there will be a significant dropoff with Gonzalez out of the picture. There’s no way around it.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images