The New England Patriots will be shorthanded heading into their matchup on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, with wide receivers Danny Amendola and Matthew Slater, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, and defensive tackle Vincent Valentine all having been ruled out for the team’s Week 2 matchup.
None of the four players that have been ruled out have been able to practice this week, with offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, defensive back Nate Ebner, and safety Devin McCourty all still listed as questionable.
Amendola hauled in six catches for 100 yards during the team’s Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. But he left the game early due to a concussion and will be held out against the Saints, giving quarterback Tom Brady even less weapons to utilize with wide receiver Julian Edelman already sidelined for the remainder of the year due to a torn ACL.
On the other side of the ball, the team will be without linebacker Hightower who is suffering from a knee injury. He made just two tackles during Week 1 against the Chiefs. Despite being selected to his first career Pro Bowl last season, he has not appeared in 14 games during the regular season since 2013.
For Valentine, it will be the second consecutive week he will spend on the sideline with a knee injury. He started two games in his rookie year for the Patriots last season.
The next chance the quartet of inactives will have to take the field for New England will come during the team’s Week 3 matchup at home against the Houston Texans.