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Defensive consensus: Patriots will have to step up

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FOXBOROUGH — Now that the reality of not having Vince Wilfork in uniform is settling in —- the defensive tackle wasn’t at Wednesday’s practice, the team’s first on-field workout since losing him to an Achilles’ tendon tear during Sunday’s win at Atlanta — his defensive teammates are steeling themselves for what comes next.

The consensus: Everyone else will have to step up.

“Having Vince injured definitely is something that you don’t want to have, but we can’t really dwell on the fact that he’s not out there with us,” said defensive end Rob Ninkovich. “We just have to continue to push on and have other guys try and step up and do some of the things that he can do to the best of their abilities, and then other guys on the defense, like myself, have to step up and make more plays.”

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