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The depth on the defensive side of the ball has taken a hit a few days out of the 2016 AFC Championship Game.

And that's because the Patriots have placed veteran linebacker Jerod Mayo on injured reserve with the shoulder injury he suffered in Saturday's 27-20 win over the Chiefs in the Divisional Round.
This is the third-straight year Mayo's season has come to an end due to injury, as the 29-year-old tore his pectoral muscle in Week 6 of 2013 and tore his patella tendon in the Week 7 matchup against the Buffalo Bills last season. 

It's a damn shame because it's likely the team will move on from Mayo this offseason, as the Pats carry a team option in each of the next two seasons. Mayo has a $4 million roster bonus due on March 9, while his 2016 cap hit serves to be a whopping $11.4 million. 

Mayo served in a very limited role this season playing behind Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins, and Mayo only really saw time in the lineup when either of those two were banged up. That was the case on Saturday when Collins missed time, yet Mayo managed to play just seven total snaps. His absence for Sunday's Title Game will mean that the duo of Jonathan Freeny and Jon Bostic now become the backup options should (heaven forbid) Hightower or Collins get nicked up against the Broncos.

Photo Credit: Boston.com 

Mark Burke 1/19/2016 05:19:00 PM Edit
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