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Pats recognize heavier load without Mayo

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The consensus from players in the New England Patriots locker room on Monday echoed their head coach's words from that morning -- there is no replacing linebacker Jerod Mayo with one player.

However, the show will still go on Thursday night as the Patriots get ready to host the New York Jets on a shortened schedule without their defensive signal-caller, as Mayo was officially ruled out in Monday's practice report and is expected to miss significant time moving forward.

To put it simply, the entire team will be counted upon to fill the void.

"Everyone has to step up if Mayo can't go," safety Devin McCourty said. "That just is what it is. One guy is not going to do what Mayo's done the last seven years. ... You just can't pick one guy to go out there and do that."

Mayo was carted off the field with a right knee injury in the second quarter of Sunday's win against the Bills and was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday. The results have not yet been released.

Playing without Mayo is familiar territory for the Patriots, seeing as they lost him for the season to a torn pectoral muscle in Week 6 last year.

"I think we're like every other team," said McCourty. "Each year you come in and, in this sport, you're most likely going to deal with injuries. You just can't prevent it."

Special-teams captain Matthew Slater particularly took the loss of Mayo hard. The two broke into the league together as rookies with the Patriots in 2008.

"It was a blow. You can't try to pretend like it's just one of those things that you can move on from because you feel for a guy like Jerod," Slater said. "To see him go down, I know it took a toll on me. But we will do the best we can to bounce back.

"A lot of guys have to step up because a guy like that is hard to replace," Slater added. "Hopefully we can play well for him the rest of the year. There is no replacing that guy with one guy, it's going to take a lot of guys to step up."

The Patriots will also be without the services of running back Stevan Ridley on Thursday, as he too was ruled out of the game on Monday's practice report with a knee injury. While most of the focus Monday was on Mayo, Slater made sure to mention that losing Ridley will also be a big blow to the team.

"Stevan put a lot of work in this offseason preparing himself and making himself better. He was doing a good job for us. We asked a lot of him and he gave us a lot," Slater said. "That's another situation you just hate to see. Sometimes the cruel effects of this game -- injuries -- it's definitely heartbreaking to see these guys go down. Again, we have to do as good a job as we can just trying to move on and continue to play well."