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ATLANTA -- New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork left Sunday night's 30-23 win against the Atlanta Falcons with an ankle injury in the first quarter, limping off the field on the Falcons' first drive of the game and did not return.
He was later taken to the locker room on the back of a cart.
Wilfork, one of the team's captains, is a perennial Pro Bowler and vital cog to the team's defense, particularly against the run. He had been added to the team's injury report this week for the first time, as probable with a foot injury.
The Patriots have been thin at defensive tackle since training camp started in late July, in part because Armond Armstead opened on the non-football injury list after undergoing surgery for an infection. Armstead remains on the non-football injury list, leaving the Patriots with Wilfork, fellow veteran Tommy Kelly and rookies Joe Vellano (undrafted) and Chris Jones (sixth-round pick from the Texans claimed on waivers) at defensive tackle.