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October 3, 2013

Life without a legend begins now for Patriots

Admit it, you peeked at Wikipedia, just to see what Ted Washington was up to these days.

Come on, even at age 45, and certainly upwards of 400 pounds, old “Mount Washington,” who retired in 2007 and is actually Hall of Fame eligible, could actually be considered a suitable replacement in these parts, now that news spread like wildfire this week in these parts of Vince Wilfork’s torn Achilles.

Certainly, Bill Belichick didn’t go that far as he pondered his defense without big Vince dominating the trenches. But you know the coach and his staff searched hard this week for answers — both inside the box and out — to fill that mammoth void.

The sane solution said make amends and give Richard Seymour a call. But the former Patriots and Raiders great closed the book on that potential solution on a national radio interview Monday, saying his time here ran its course.

So, what do the Pats do now? Wilfork’s absence was hardly felt at all Sunday night in Atlanta as the Falcons trailed and had to air it out.

But that will change quick. As quickly as this week in Cincinnati. How can the Pats replace Wilfork?

1. “Next man up” — It’s the mantra that New England has lived by over the past decade or so, no matter who the injured party was.

In this case, if the Pats stay in a base 4-3, it would be Joe Vellano, a Sunday night here, to move into the starting spot on first and second down. Vellano, the 6-foot-2, 300-pound rookie out of Maryland, hardly poses the imposing physical presence of a Wilfork, but there has to be something here.

Belichick invested a ton of time and reps in this kid over the summer, losing interest in the Marcus Forstons and Kyle Loves.

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