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Source: Patriots LB Jonathan Freeny dislocated thumb, and part of wrist

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots linebacker Jonathan Freeny, who was seen leaving the locker room following Sunday night's 27-6 victory over the Houston Texans with a cast over his right hand, dislocated his thumb and part of his wrist, according to a source.

Freeny, who has been the team's No. 3 linebacker this season, is expected to miss some time as the thumb/wrist is stabilized. But the hope is that he could return before the end of the year.

Freeny entered Sunday's game with 43 tackles, the seventh highest total on the team. He's also a regular contributor on special teams.

On Sunday, Freeny played only five snaps before leaving with the injury.

In his absence, veteran Jerod Mayo is a top candidate to see his playing time elevate, as was the case Sunday.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald first reported details of Freeny's injury.