We have some status updates on all of the Patriots and their respective players.
Patriots center Bryan Stork has been grieving after the loss of a close family member. Explains "coaching decision" to have him inactive.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 20, 2015
Head coach Bill Belichick sent Bryan Stork home prior to the game and called it a "coaching decision." Our thought are with Stork through these difficult times.
Amendola reaggravated his sprained knee that the Herald's Jeff Howe said was less than 100% prior to the game. He visibly hobbled off the field and into the locker room. The Patriots have no reason to play him for the rest of the regular season as Keshawn Martin can see a larger role.
Hightower was seen with a wrap on his previously injured left knee in the locker room after the game. Howe says that Hightower was "walking fine." Jerod Mayo and Jonathan Bostic saw more time with Hightower on the sideline and Jonathan Freeny unavailable. Similar to Amendola, the Patriots don't have an incentive to play Hightower prior to the playoffs.
Chung was seen standing unassisted in the locker room after the game after leaving with a hip injury. Howe says there's "early optimism" and that Chung just took a hard hit. The loss of Chung meant more playing time for safeties Nate Ebner, Tavon Wilson, and Jordan Richards.
Defensive tackles Akiem Hicks (right leg) and Alan Branch (right arm) were taken off of the field and worked with the trainers, but returned to the field.
Wide receiver Brandon LaFell (left leg) left the game late and the offense required Matthew Slater to step into the lineup, but returned to the game.
Safety Devin McCourty practiced this week after suffering a high ankle sprain, so he could physically return sooner than expected- the bigger point is that the Patriots might not want to rush his return just yet. The Patriots need him at 100% for the playoffs and they might not want to risk an early return after the injuries to Amendola and Hightower. Duron Harmon played well in reserve.
It should be noted that there have been positive reports in the past, only for the player to head to the injured reserve, so all of these injuries will continue to be monitored moving forward.