FOXBOROUGH -- The Patriots announced that Devin McCourty and Rob Ninkovich have been named team captains for the remainder of this season.
With both of the defensive players who were named captains at the start of the season -- Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo -- on injured reserve, the team needed players who will be available every day and on game day to step in.
McCourty was voted a captain in 2011 and '12, though curiously he was not a captain again to start this season.
This is the first time Ninkovich has served as a captain for New England, though it is a well-earned honor for a player who has worked his way up from afterthought to special teamer to consistent contributor.
Tom Brady, Logan Mankins, and Matthew Slater are the other Patriots captains.