The New England Patriots ruled only one player out due to injury before heading into their Week 15 game against the Buffalo Bills: Jonathan Jones was deemed unable to participate after missing a whole week’s worth of practice because of a groin issue. With the Patriots’ starting slot cornerback out, the depth of New England’s secondary was tested — despite the unit getting veteran Jason McCourty back from his own injury absence.
After all, McCourty lasted only a little more than a quarter before being forced to leave the game again. The team officially listed him as questionable to return with a groin injury. The 32-year-old, of course, had missed three of the Patriots’ last four games because of his groin which creates a situation worth watching both in the long term and the context of New England’s game against Buffalo. Second-round rookie Joejuan Williams saw some snaps on defense after McCourty’s departure.
The Patriots also suffered an injury on the offensive side of the ball: starting right tackle Marcus Cannon went down midway through the second quarter with an ankle injury, and had to be replaced in the lineup by Marshall Newhouse. Also listed as questionable to come back, the veteran did remain on the sidelines — a potentially good sign.
[UPDATE] In the third quarter, New England’s offense suffered another loss: wide receiver Julian Edelman, the team’s most consistent pass catcher this season, headed into the blue medical tent on the sidelines and later to the locker room. As the team announced, he was being evaluated for a potential head injury.
[UPDATE] In the fourth quarter, Edelman eventually returned to the field while Cannon was officially ruled out because of his ankle injury.