Patriots place Mayo on IR

Foxboro, MA ( - New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo was placed on injured reserve Wednesday after reportedly undergoing surgery for a torn pectoral muscle.

The Patriots did not disclose the injury in their press release, but various media outlets, including Yahoo! Sports, had reported that Mayo underwent surgery on Tuesday.

Mayo was hurt during the fourth quarter of this past Sunday's game against New Orleans. The two-time Pro Bowl selection leads the Patriots with 55 tackles this season.

It's another significant loss for the New England defense, as star defensive tackle Vince Wilfork went on IR earlier this month because of a torn Achilles' tendon.

"That's why we have a full team," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick during a Wednesday news conference. "Whenever we lose someone, somebody else has to step in and play."

The Patriots signed defensive tackle Andre Neblett to fill Mayo's roster spot. Neblett, who was signed by New England last Wednesday and released on Saturday to make room for defensive lineman Marcus Forston, had 28 tackles and three sacks in 30 games with the Carolina Panthers from 2010-12.