The New England Patriots entered the weekend with a season-high 17 players listed on the injury report as questionable to play against the Houston Texans — among them starting cornerback Jason McCourty and depth defensive tackle Byron Cowart, who are dealing with groin and head injuries, respectively. Earlier today, both were officially downgraded by the team after not making the trip to Houston: neither McCourty not Cowart will play on Sunday.
The two defenders join second-year tight end Ryan Izzo on the list of inactives; Izzo was already ruled out on Friday because of an illness that hit New England’s roster hard this week. In total, nine players were tagged as questionable on Friday due to the illness — including multiple starters such as offensive tackles Isaiah Wynn and Marcus Cannon, linebackers Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins and defensive backs Stephon Gilmore and Patrick Chung.
As for McCourty and Cowart, meanwhile, the two will miss their second and seventh game of the season. The cornerback was already out last week and replaced on the perimeter by J.C. Jackson, who had a solid performance and is expected to play a starting role in New England’s secondary again versus Houston. Cowart, on the other hand, was primarily a role player as the fourth defensive tackle on the 53-man roster.