Going into their Divisional Round matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Patriots were the healthiest they have been in months. Unfortunately, the Patriots weren't able to stay healthy, as they lost a couple of key players, specifically on the defensive side of the football.
Fortunately, none of these injuries seem to be serious enough to keep these players out for a serious amount of time. Here is what we know so far:
Bryan Stork, Center: In the first quarter, Stork left the game with an apparent ankle injury and headed straight to the locker room. By all accounts, Stork had his ankle re-taped and is fine. He re-entered the game in the second quarter, and was a key contributor to Brady's one-yard touchdown run. Thankfully, the Patriots have a more than capable backup in the undrafted free agent out of Georgia, David Andrews. However, Stork's injury wasn't serious enough to keep him out of last night's game.
Julian Edelman, WR: This "injury," if you can even call it that, is kind of up in the air. Julian Edelman appeared fine for the entirety of the game, as he played most offensive snaps. However, as the media was making their way into the locker room following the Patriots' victory, Edelman was seen going into the X-ray room. Fortunately for Patriot fans, Edelman re-appeared and talked to the media for at least half an hour. Most guys dealing with an injury serious enough to get an X-ray on doesn't do that. My guess is he was getting a mandatory X-ray because he just had a metal plate inserted into his foot.
Jerod Mayo, LB: This one looked a bit more serious. Following Jamie Collins' injury, Jerod Mayo filled in for him but was quickly injured and taken out of the game. Mayo went directly into the locker room and did not return with what appeared to be an apparent shoulder injury. Not a good sign. With a heavy cap hit next season, it is sensible to think that we have seen Mayo's last game in a Patriot uniform unless a couple things go right.
Dont'a Hightower, LB: This injury was so minor that I debated on even putting it on my injury list, but what the hell. Why not? Hightower was shaken up on a play right after Jamie Collins went down. Hightower came off for a few plays after he apparently twisted his knee. Knee injuries have plagued Hightower all season, but it appears that the Patriots dodged a bullet again here.
Jamie Collins, LB: Again, this one may be a little bit more serious. Jamie Collins hurt his back in the third quarter after attempting to knock the ball out on a run. Collins was instantly in noticeable pain, and stayed done for a couple extra seconds. After getting up, Collins headed to the sidelines and eventually to the locker room. Fortunately, Collins re-emerged from the locker room with his back all taped up. He spent the rest of the game on the bench, but my guess is if the game was in question, he would have been out there.
Chandler Jones, DE: Similar to Collins and Mayo, Jones was shaken up and did not return in this game. In the fourth quarter, Jones appeared to sustain a right knee injury, and was seen flexing his knee on the sidelines for the duration of the game. The Patriots did not release any information on Jones, which may be a good thing. I guess that synthetic weed doesn't protect you against injuries.
By Pete Packowski