BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots left Atlanta with a 4-0 record, but the victory came with a price.
Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork left the game early in the first quarter with an ankle injury, and he did not return after being carted to the locker room.
Hours after the game ended, The Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young reported that Wilfork suffered a torn Achilles, and his season is likely over, according to a league source. WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche confirmed the report early Monday morning.
Wilfork suffered the injury on the opening drive of the game when he seemed to lose his balance and overextend his leg. A ruptured Achilles would require a long, extensive recovery plan for any athlete, but even more so for one of Wilfork’s size.
Wilfork has been a durable player, averaging 15 games played per year in the last nine seasons.
The Patriots also lost rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson to a neck injury. He suffered the injury in the third quarter after a Tom Brady pass skipped short of the intended target. Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud hit Dobson in the head, jolting the receiver’s neck backward and causing him to lie on the ground in pain. After an assessment on the sideline, Dobson walked to the locker room and did not return.
Dobson had one catch for 10 yards in the game, bringing his season total to 11 receptions for 118 yards.
The Patriots play next on Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati.