BOSTON (CBS) –  With two defensive captains going down for the New England Patriots in the last two weeks, they not only need players to step up on the field but also in the locker room.

So on Friday, the team named safety Devin McCourty and defensive end Rob Ninkovich as replacement captains. The two take over for Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo, who are both out for the rest of the season with injuries.

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Ninkovich becomes a first-time captain for the Patriots, while McCourty served as a captain in 2011 and 2012.

Ninkovich has been his steady self on the Patriots defensive line, racking up 29 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble over the first six weeks of the season. McCourty has 31 tackles with a forced fumble and fumble recovery this season.

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Prior to the season, Wilfork, Mayo, quarterback Tom Brady, guard Logan Mankins and special-teamer Matthew Slater were named the team captains for the 2013.



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