FOXBORO, Mass. — An honest-to-goodness Foxboro flu has swept through the New England Patriots’ facility this week, sidelining more than a half-dozen players and sending others scrambling for preventative measures.
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins, offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, safety Patrick Chung, tight end Ryan Izzo, cornerback Joejuan Williams and offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor all missed practice Wednesday with illnesses.
Offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, who might have been patient zero for this outbreak, was limited in practice after gutting through the flu to play all but eight snaps in Sunday’s 13-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
“It is that season, so I know some guys have been hit by that,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said Wednesday. “So we’ve got to try to, as Coach would say, stay germ-free. Wash your hands. Definitely wash your hands.”
Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, who sat out Sunday’s game with a concussion, cradled a bottle of Emergen-C as he addressed the reporters at his locker.
“It’s tough,” Dorsett said. “It’s going around, but we’ve just got to live a healthy lifestyle. Got to wash your hands, got to drink Emergen-C, take vitamins and hope that you don’t catch it.”
Safety Duron Harmon echoed that advice.
“Wash your hands,” Harmon said. “That’s the main thing. We’ve obviously got the flu bug going around, but wash your hands and keep washing your hands, and you’ll be all right.”
The Patriots also are dealing with various non-illness-related ailments. A total of 18 players either missed practice or were limited Wednesday — by far the team’s longest injury report of the season.
Dorsett, receiver Mohamed Sanu and cornerback Jason McCourty all practiced on a limited basis after missing Sunday’s game with injuries.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
S Patrick Chung, Illness/Heel/Chest
LB Jamie Collins, Illness
OL Jermaine Eluemunor, Illness
CB Stephon Gilmore, Illness
LB Dont’a Hightower, Illness
TE Ryan Izzo, Illness
CB Joejuan Williams, Illness
OT Isaiah Wynn, Illness
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, Knee
OT Marcus Cannon, Illness
WR Phillip Dorsett, Concussion
S Nate Ebner, Ankle/Back
WR Julian Edelman, Shoulder
CB Jason McCourty, Groin
WR Mohamed Sanu, Ankle
DE John Simon, Elbow
WR Matthew Slater, Hamstring
The 10-1 Patriots are preparing to visit the 7-4 Houston Texans on “Sunday Night Football.”
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images