Mayo was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday’ 30-27 win over the New Orleans Saints when he and safety Steve Gregory tackled Darren Sproles. Mayo lay on the ground then reached for the upper right area of his chest. Mayo’s agent, Mitch Frankel, did not respond to a request for comment on a report that Mayo had undergone surgery for a torn chest muscle.
“I just came down and made the hit,” Gregory said. “I didn’t know what the extent was.”
Wilfork tore his right Achilles tendon Sept. 29 in a 30-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons then underwent surgery.
“When you lose someone like we did with Vince or Jerod, it’s tough,” Brady said, “but I’d say a lot of teams deal with it, too.
“As much as you hate to lose guys, there’s nothing you can do about it and the season doesn’t end. You have to keep fighting on, just as they would want us to, just like they did when I went out, just like they did when guys like Rodney (Harrison) went out. We’ve lost some pretty key, critical guys over the years. Ty Law got hurt at one point.”
Brady had a season-ending knee injury in the 2008 opener and the Patriots went 11-5 with Matt Cassel at quarterback but missed the playoffs.
Harrison missed the last 13 regular-season games in 2005 and both playoff games with a knee injury.
Law played only the first seven games in 2004 before injuring his foot. The Patriots went on to win their third Super Bowl in four years.
“There are a lot of guys who have been injured,” Brady said. “You just have to try to fill the spot and other guys have to pick up the slack.”
One of them is outside linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who is expected to call defensive signals in place of Mayo.