FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The ripple effect of linebacker Jerod Mayo's season-ending injury extends beyond his defensive contributions, as he is also one of five elected captains for the Patriots. Mayo is the second captain, joining defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, to be lost for the season.
“When you lose someone like we did with Vince or Jerod, it’s tough,” Brady said. “But I’d say a lot of teams deal with it, too. You don’t want to feel sorry for yourself and you realize that someone has to fill in and do the job," Brady said.
“As much as you hate to lose guys, there is nothing you can do about it and the season doesn’t end. You have to keep fighting on, just as they would want us to, just like they did when I went out, just like they did when guys like Rodney [Harrison] went out. We’ve lost some key, critical guys over the years -- Ty Law got hurt one year. There have been a lot of guys who have been injured and you just have to try to fill the spot. Other guys have to pick up the slack. Hopefully our execution on offense is better; that would take some pressure off the defense, which has been playing great all year for us.”
Without Wilfork and Mayo, coach Bill Belichick left the door open to naming another captain. While that could happen, Mankins expressed confidence in the leadership at various levels of the roster.
"We have a lot of leadership, I think, on this team, not just the guys that are appointed captains," he said. "We have a lot of veteran guys that have been around a while that know what's expected of them and everyone else, and we'll miss Jerod, but whoever is in that spot is going to do a good job."