Source: RB Taylor has ankle surgery

Updated: October 9, 2009, 5:37 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

Fred Taylor, the New England Patriots' leading rusher, had surgery on his injured right ankle, according to a source close to the situation.

The surgery shouldn't immediately end Taylor's season, as there remains a chance he could return later in the year.

Taylor told the Florida Times-Union that he doesn't expect the injury to sideline him for the rest of the season.

"I'll know more once I meet again with the doctor," Taylor told the paper. "I will bounce back stronger. I know it. I've prayed on it."

Taylor's surgery, which last two hours, was "more serious than a scope" and showed he tore "a couple of ligaments," according to the Florida Times-Union.

Taylor injured the ankle on his final carry of Sunday's 27-21 win over the Ravens, a 3-yard rush in which he came up hobbling after charging hard into the middle of the Baltimore defense. He has been held out of practice the past two days.

The 33-year-old Taylor, who is in his first season with the Patriots after spending the first 11 years of his career with the Jaguars, has been instrumental in helping provide more balance to a New England offense that skewed heavily toward the pass the first two weeks of the season.

In a Sept. 27 win over the Falcons, he rushed for 105 yards on 21 carries, logging the team's only individual 100-yard performance of the season. In the process, he moved past John Riggins into 15th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list.

The Patriots have been rotating their backs this season, but Taylor has totaled a team-high 45 carries for 201 yards (averaging 4.5 yards).

Laurence Maroney (27 carries), Kevin Faulk (16) and Sammy Morris (13) also have shared some of the load, while second-year player BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- who has been active for just one game this season -- is another option to pick up some of the slack.

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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