According to WEEI.com, there was a chance that if Jerod Mayo's pectoral injury was not too severe, then the two-time pro bowler would be able to begin lifting again in six weeks and could make a return to the field in eight weeks.
That won't be happening. The Patriots have lost another team captain for the season, placing Mayo on injured reserve.
New England has now lost its best defensive lineman, Vince Wilfork, and linebacker for the season, a major blow to the front seven.
"He does a lot for us, on the field, off the field. We're just going to have to move on," coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday morning.
Belichick is known for his defensive prowess and the team was able to contain the Saints on their final two drives, without having Mayo on the field.
But now the team must accomplish this task without having the man who has lead the team in tackles each of his first five seasons, for the duration of games. Meanwhile, opponents will have all week to prepare to exploit New England's attempt to fill the void left by Mayo.
The injuries are mounting, as the key players who have helped make this unit a championship-level defense continue to be removed from the equation.