The Patriots will be taking the field at Cincinnati this weekend in a battle of two undefeated teams, without their starting defensive tackle Vincent Wilfork.

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For almost a decade, the 325-pound Wilfork has been a game-changer in the Patriots defense. For the rest of this season, Wilfork will be sidelined with an Achilles injury.

In the NFL, when one man goes down, another is given an opportunity. This Sunday’s opportunity will go to local boy Joe Vellano.

As a 2007 graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, Vellano then went to Maryland to have a successful college career. This past off-season, Vellano signed with the Pats as an undrafted free agent.

According to the Patriots website, Vellano is now at the top of the depth chart and will start this weekend in place of the injured Wilfork.

Capital Region, as you watch the Patriots play the Bengals on Sunday, enjoy cheering for one of your own!