(Steven Senne / AP)

Just as the New England Patriots offense was finding its footing with a cast of new players, the defense faces changes of its own.

Linebacker Jerod Mayo underwent surgery for a torn pectoral muscle on Tuesday and will miss the rest of the season, the Boston Globe reports. One of the team’s other captains, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, was lost for the season Sept. 29 when he tore his Achilles’ tendon. Losing both creates a void of both leadership and skill for the 5-1 team, which plays at the New York Jets on Sunday.

Mayo, who has more tackles than any other NFL player since the 2010 season, was hurt trying to stop New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles on Sunday. And New England’s defense suffered another loss of uncertain severity when Aqib Talib hurt his hip Sunday. It’s not yet known when Talib might play.

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