New England's 30-27 win over New Orleans on Sunday came at a high cost for the Patriots defense. Leading tackler Jerod Mayo is will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn pectoral muscle.
One day after the surgery, the Patriots placed Mayo on injured reserve.
It's a devastating loss for a New England defense that already lost a key starter less than three weeks ago when nose tackle Vince Wilfork suffered a torn Achilles. The Patriots will lose Mayo and his team-leading 55 tackles, no one else on the team has more than 45 tackles.
Staying healthy has never been an issue for Mayo. Going into 2013, the two-time Pro Bowler had started in all 16 regular season games three times since his rookie year with New England in 2008.
The Saints win a big one for the Patriots, but it left the team somewhat battered. Besides Mayo, the Patriots are also dealing with injuries to Danny Amendola and guard Dan Connolly, who both suffered head injuries against New Orleans. Starting cornerback Aqib Talib was also injured against the Saints. Talib suffered a hip flexor injury.