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Patriots news: Dont’a Hightower and Danny Amendola missed practice

Bill Belichick, Patriots

The New England Patriots had the unveiling of their sixth championship banner in Gillette Stadium spoiled by an embarrassing 42-27 defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1.

The Patriots lost more than the game itself last Thursday, as linebacker Dont’a Hightower and wide receiver Danny Amendola both suffered injuries during the contest.

Things are not looking good for two of New England’s key contributors heading into Week 2’s road trip to face the New Orleans Saints. Josh Alper of NBC Sports cited that both Hightower and Amendola were held out practice on Wednesday, with the former dealing with a minor ACL sprain and the latter still under the concussion protocol.

Hightower, a first-time Pro Bowl selection last season, tweaked his knee in the third quarter of Thursday’s loss. The 27-year-old is arguably the best player on New England’s defense, which surrendered 21 unanswered points to the Chiefs in the fourth quarter that resulted into the massive upset. The veteran wideout Amendola, meanwhile, had six catches for 100 yards before he suffered his injury in the final frame, leaving Tom Brady with one less weapon to work with on offense to try and contain Kansas City’s comeback.

On the bright side, it was reported that Hightower and Amendola aren’t expected to miss significant amounts of time, with Hightower starting Sunday’s game in New Orleans as a more probable outcome than questionable.

However, Alper also noted that Hightower has had previous bouts with knee injuries during his career, so the Patriots would likely give the Alabama product’s return to action this weekend more consideration than usual.

The same could be said of Amendola, who’ll be under the watchful eye of the NFL to ensure that the concussion he suffered is of no grave matter. Based on his 100-yard night in Week 1, the eight-year veteran looked to be a fine substitute in the team’s wide-receiving corps in place of Julian Edelman, who’s already been scratched off for the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL that he suffered during the preseason.