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Thursday, October 3, 2013
Pats officially put Vince Wilfork on IR

By Field Yates

The Patriots have placed nose tackle Vince Wilfork on injured reserve, officially ending his 2013 season.

Wilfork, who tore his Achilles on Sunday night during a Week 4 matchup with the Falcons, underwent surgery Tuesday.

A first-round pick of the Patriots back in 2004, Wilfork has been a critical cog in the team's defense, setting the foundation for their run defense and also contributing as a pass rusher. A 2012 first team All Pro, Wilfork has missed just six games during the course of his career.

The Patriots will now have to pick up the pieces in his absence, relying heavily on both veteran Tommy Kelly and a pair of rookies in Joe Vellano and Chris Jones.

Vellano was signed as an undrafted free agent this offseason and recorded his first career sack in Week 4. Jones, meanwhile, was drafted in the sixth round by the Texans out of Bowling Green but was waived by both Houston and Tampa Bay before being claimed by the Patriots.

The team may also opt to promote a defensive tackle from the practice squad, as they have two -- Marcus Forston and A.J. Francis -- available.

The Patriots travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals this Sunday.