NFL

Patriots DT Wilfork leaves with right ankle injury

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ATLANTA (AP)

New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork left Sunday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons on the opening drive with a right ankle injury and did not return.

Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson was injured in the end zone midway through the third quarter as he attempted to catch a touchdown pass.

Falcons cornerback Robert Alford appeared to hold Dobson on the route, and quarterback Tom Brady threw the ball into the artificial turf in front of both players.

Atlanta safety Thomas DeCoud knocked his knee against the front of Dobson's helmet as Dobson fell to the turf. Dobson was on his back for a couple of minutes before New England's medical staff attended to him.

Dobson walked off the field under his own power, but was questionable to return.

Wilfork, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, appeared to turn his right foot while trying to pressure quarterback Matt Ryan from the New England 6-yard line.

He was able to walk off the field under his own power.

Rookie Joe Vellano, who sacked Ryan for a 13-yard loss late in the third quarter, took some snaps in Wilfork's spot after the injury.

The Falcons lost left tackle Sam Baker early in the second quarter with a knee injury. After walking slowly off the field under his own power, Baker was escorted to the locker room.

Baker's return was questionable. Lamar Holmes took his place.

New England running back Brandon Bolden injured his knee on a second-quarter play against linebacker Akeem Dent, but returned in the third.

Falcons special teams player Paul Worrilow injured his knee in the third and was questionable to return.

The Patriots began the night with a 108-31 record in Wilfork's 139 regular-season games.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Tagged: Falcons, Patriots, Vince Wilfork, Sam Baker

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