The Patriots opened the final quarter of the regular season without their very talented and important tight end. But they had another offensive weapon at their disposal.
As is typical for the franchise, New England hasn't missed a beat in Hogan's absence, but his return was especially welcome as Rob Gronkowski spends this week in street clothes. Hogan recorded 33 catches for 438 yards and five touchdowns in New England's first eight games, and offers Tom Brady another option in a receiving corps that has long been without Julian Edelman.
Defensive lineman Alan Branch suffered a knee injury during the first quarter and didn't return to the game.
Elsewhere in injury news on Monday:
- Green Bay Packers quarterbackAaron Rodgers (shoulder) remains under medical evaluation, coach Mike McCarthy said. No decision has been made on when he might return to playing.
- Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is dealing with a left knee sprain, coach Mike Mularkey said. The injury isn't considered serious, however, and he should be able to practice Wednesday. Offensive tackle Taylor Lewan is dealing with a minor back injury that Mularkey described as a "short-term" injury.
McVay told reporters Monday that fellow cornerback Trumaine Johnson suffered a stinger on Sunday and is not in concussion protocol. The Rams coach added that right tackle Rob Havenstein (knee), left tackle Andrew Whitworth(knee), pass rusherConnor Barwin (forearm) and wide receiver Robert Woods (shoulder) are all on track to play against the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday.
- Green Bay Packers cornerback Davon House suffered a transverse process fracture in his back, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
- Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman remains in concussion protocol after suffering a hit on a scramble during the team's thrilling overtime victory over the Colts on Sunday. Tyrod Taylor (knee) likely will start in Week 15 for the Bills. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (knee) remains under evaluation.
- The Arizona Cardinals placed offensive tackle Jared Veldheer on injured reserve because of an ankle injury.