Wilfork's loss to a torn Achilles, as reported by NFL Media's Albert Breer, is especially damaging because the Patriots don't have a true backup on their roster. They are thinner at the position than any time since Wilfork was drafted in 2004.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick is good at adapting. Belichick values versatility above all else. He could ask
Wilfork, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and likely future Hall of Fame candidate, was the rock of this Patriots defense. That's the bad news. The positive spin is that this 2013 Patriots defense is better than any unit Belichick has coached in at least the past five years.
Wilfork was struggling through the worst start to a season of his career before tearing his Achilles, and the Patriots still are 4-0 with the sixth-ranked scoring defense in the league. NBC's Cris Collinsworth hinted that Wilfork previously was struggling with a foot issue. The Patriots primarily use a four-man defensive line, which makes finding a true nose tackle to replace Wilfork less important.
No team is better at adapting than the Patriots. They hope to get
Wilfork's injury once again hammers home that this is a very different Patriots team. The only three constants in New England: Belichick,