The New England Patriots lost linebacker and team captain Jerod Mayo to a pectoral injury against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mayo was the third linebacker on the team's depth chart, but this marks the third straight season ending on the injured reserve.
In 2013, Mayo tore his pectoral muscle, and in 2014 he tore his patellar tendon, which really affected his pursuit speed. Mayo has torn his pectoral again, which could signify the end of the relationship between the Patriots and the linebacker.
Mayo will be 30 years old for the 2016 season and pectoral injuries generally take eight weeks to recover. While Mayo probably isn't in danger of missing the 2016 offseason, the injury in conjunction with his massive cap hit could lead the two parties in different directions. New England can decline to pick up Mayo's contract option as the linebacker is due for a massive $11.4 million cap hit in 2016, second largest on the team.
The coaching staff loves Mayo and Bill Belichick would open up a spot as the assistant linebacker coach in half a second if Mayo were interested. The players love him and they love his energy, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Mayo follow in the steps of former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, who just recently declined the opportunity to be the 49ers defensive coordinator.
Will Mayo be back in 2016? We'll find out. We'll miss him if he's gone.