FOXBORO -- While Sunday was an impressive and hard-fought win for the Patriots, the result of the dog fight at Gillette Stadium came at a price.
Four Patriots players left the game with injuries, and ultimately never returned, in their 30-27 win over the Saints.
First, it was offensive lineman Dan Connolly, who left and never returned with a head injury late in the first quarter.
Then it was cornerback Aqib Talib, who limped off the field in the third quarter. After being looked at by the medical staff on the sideline, he jogged back into the locker room to get worked on.
Talib returned for the next drive, but after just one play, he tried to make a tackle, dove and missed, and didn't look good. He sat back on the bench after that play in frustration, and slowly went back to the locker room again with the medical staff. Only this time, he never returned with what the team called a hip injury.
When the Patriots got the ball back, wide receiver Danny Amendola left the game with a head injury. He got his bell rung by safety Rafael Bush along the sideline as he tried to run after the catch down the left sideline.
Amendola was down and out until he was helped up, but he looked wobbly and never returned.
Then, late in the fourth quarter, linebacker Jerod Mayo left the game with a right shoulder injury after he connected with a hit over the middle on Saints running back Darren Sproles. Mayo helped break up the pass, but he paid the price.
And so have the Patriots.