The organization announced moments later that the running back, who remained on the Gillette Stadium turf after gaining a first down, had been ruled out due to a hip injury.
Fellow Patriots captains voiced their support for White during their postgame press conferences.
“James is a great player, but he’s a better teammate. Hope for the best for him and will try to connect with him,” center David Andrews told reporters. “... It’s a tough part of this game. And like I said, you don’t really know what happened, but it’s just, you hate it. For a guy like that who really does give his all for this team day in and day out, the world could use some more James Whites.”
Entering his fourth season as a captain, White had caught 12 passes through the first two weeks this September while accounting for one rushing touchdown, 126 yards from scrimmage and an integral part in blitz pickup.
“He’s a multi-time captain, really a huge leader on the team,” said safety Devin McCourty. “I think anytime a cart comes out you kind of know it’s serious. So, it’s just tough. It’s tough anytime you watch one of your main guys, one of your leaders, flag bearers as we kind of say in the sport, go down. It’s tough. But he’s a tough guy. He’s resilient. He’ll bounce back. But I always think about the guy. All the work we put in, to go down, it’s just tough to see, man. I’ll be praying for James.”
White, 29, re-signed with New England in March on a one-year contract worth $2.462 million. His tenure in the backfield marks the longest continuous one on the roster. And in the 2014 fourth-round draft pick’s absence against the Saints, veteran Brandon Bolden and NFL sophomore J.J. Taylor handled snaps behind starter Damien Harris.
Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson was among the Patriots’ inactives prior to the 1 p.m. ET kickoff.