Jerod Mayo hasn’t played since the New England Patriots were in the midst of going 4-2. But the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker and six-time team captain has seen a lot since tearing his patellar tendon against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 16.
He’s seen the Patriots win 10 games. And he’s seen the Patriots receive more than just a win following Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. But at the same time, I know the guys are focused on Seattle,” Mayo told WEEI’s Middays with MFB on Thursday. “You’ve been around, so you know the whole ‘ignore the noise.’ That’s what guys are doing. When you get in between the walls, we’re studying film and trying to move forward.”
This week’s news has split attention between the next game and what transpired during the last one, where an underinflated football investigation now founds itself in the league’s hands. Yet since arriving in New England as a first-round pick in 2008, Mayo has grown accustomed to focusing on what can be controlled.
“I feel like sometimes the team sometimes gets attacked unfairly, but at the same time, it really doesn’t matter,” Mayo said. “We try to go out there and put a good performance on each and every week. I know the guys are really focused on the game. It’s a huge game. We’re not really bothered with all that going on.”
Mayo has been at the facility, in the film room and on the sidelines despite being on injured reserve. He’s been able to help his fellow linebackers, including Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins, by doing so.
He’s noticed a rise in play from both of them.
“I feel like every week those guys are getting better,” Mayo said. “‘High’ is doing a great job as far as lining everyone up and going out there, controlling the defensive line and the coverage. And Jamie is a great athlete that can make a lot of plays. You saw the interception last week, that’s a big play, and the play the week before with the forced fumble even though that got called back. Talented individuals, I am so proud of those guys, so happy for them. And hopefully it continues to this week.”
Mayo’s future on the field alongside Hightower and Collins is uncertain, coming off two season-ending injuries. But, under contract through 2017, the 28-year-old appears on track to rejoin them next season.
“I’m doing good. Rehab is going well,” Mayo said. “They tell me I’m doing good. We’ll keep taking it one day at a time, no setbacks here.”
As for now, his attention is set in the same direction as where the team is heading – Glendale.
“Right now my focus is on the Seahawks. I am just trying to help the guys, and when we reach that point we’ll deal with it then,” Mayo said.