The Patriots have announced defensive end Rob Ninkovich and safety Devin McCourty as captains. The two leadership roles were originally given to nose tackle Vince Wilfork and linebacker Jerod Mayo but both have suffered serious injuries this season and have been relegated to IR.

Ninkovich an eight-year NFL veteran spoke about the personnel losses earlier this week.

"Just like anything you have to deal with in an NFL season there's ups and downs that every team has to go through with whoever it is on the field. We're just going to continue to do what we do work hard together and come together as a team on defense. Guys like myself have to have more of a leadership role and do a little bit more."

He was right; the team made it official just four days later.