(David Goldman / AP) (David Goldman / AP)

Updated with MRI set for today

The New England Patriots may have lost the cornerstone of their defense for the rest of the season.

Vince Wilfork tore his Achilles’ tendon, according to a Boston Globe report, in the Patriots’ 30-23 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night. Wilfork was hurt when he appeared to step on another player’s foot in the Patriots’ first defensive series. He was taken to the locker room on a cart and left the Georgia Dome after the game with a boot on his foot. He is expected to undergo an MRI today, according to USA Today.

“I know they’re going to look at him and do some tests this morning and that’s really about all I know,” Coach Bill Belichick said, sharing more freely than usual. “I haven’t heard any more about that. I’m not sure exactly what the status of that is. That’s pretty common after every game.

“We get back here late off the road and then guys come in and … they either get treated [for an injury] or sometimes get it looked at in a little more detail with a test or whatever, whatever the case might be, whatever our medical department decides they need and then we go from there.”

Achilles’ tendon tears typically take six-to-nine months of recovery time, which would put Wilfork out the rest of the season. Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens was out about six months after tearing his Achilles’ in May 2012.

Replacing Wilfork will not be easy, no matter how long he’s out. The 4-0 Pats have Tommy Kelley, a 10-year veteran, as well as rookies Joe Vellano and Chris Jones. New England plays the Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday.

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