FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Thanksgiving Week saw the Patriots’ roster depleted by a wave of illnesses that prevented several players from practicing fully.
On Saturday, as the team left Gillette to begin its road trip to Houston, a pair of individuals originally listed on the injury report as questionable for this week's game were downgraded to out versus the Texans. However, neither of them was listed with an illness.
CB Jason McCourty has been dealing with a groin problem since last Friday, before the Dallas game, which caused him to miss that encounter and see limited action throughout practices this past week.
With its depth in the secondary, New England managed without McCourty versus the Cowboys. CB Jonathan Jones saw his role increased that day and could again in Houston Sunday night.
Meanwhile, rookie DL Byron Cowart sustained a head injury (normally the initial designation for a concussion) during Friday’s practice. He is frequently a healthy scratch (not listed on the injury report) on most game days, so, his absence shouldn’t cause too much of a disruption for the d-line.
With TE Ryan Izzo already having been ruled out for the Texans game on Friday (illness kept him out of all three practice sessions), the Patriots must now deactivate four more players to get their 53-man roster down to the league-mandated 46-man game day limit. Those decisions don’t have to be made, though, until 90 minutes before kickoff Sunday night. It will be interesting to see how many of the players dealing with illnesses are among those four remaining spots.