The New England Patriots were faced with more devastating injury news Sunday, as veteran defensive tackle Vince Wilfork has been diagnosed with a torn Achilles and is out for at least the rest of this season.
An Achilles tear is always a problematic injury in terms of a return date. Some players miss a full year, while others may miss more than that. For Wilfork, who is set to turn 32 in November, it could possibly spell the end of his career with the Patriots.
While this may sound like an overreaction to a bad injury, there is always a possibility that an Achilles tear could end a player’s career. It could keep him out for two years, after which time he is a free agent. This is especially true for an older player that is not in the best shape like Wilfork.
Besides the prospect of him hanging up the cleats at his age after the injury, his contract with the team could be a factor in him leaving the team. As I previously stated, he is set to become a free agent in 2015 at age 34. The Patriots may ultimately decide to plan early for life after Wilfork and cut him loose, similar to what they did with Ty Warren a few years ago after he tore his triceps.
While there is still a chance that Wilfork will return to play sometime next year around midseason, you never really can tell with an injury like this. With what he has meant to the defense over the years, it could be a sad day to look back on for Patriots’ fans.