Using a code developed to compute high Reynolds number viscoelastic flows, polymer injection from the upstream stagnation point of a circular cylinder is modeled at Re = 3900. Polymer stresses are represented using the FENE-P constitutive equations. By increasing polymer injection rates within realistic ranges, significant near wake stabilization is observed. Rather than a turbulent detached shear layer giving way to a chaotic primary vortex (as seen in Newtonian flows at high Re), a much more coherent primary vortex is shed, which possesses an increased core pressure as well as a reduced level of turbulent energy. © 2011 American Society of Mechanical Engineers.