By the end of the night tight end Rob Gronkowski wasn’t the only high-profile Patriot taking up residence in the training room.

Gronkowski sat out yesterday for the sixth time but the Patriots lost four more key players due to injury during their 30-27 victory against the New Orleans Saints. It’s unclear how long they’ll be without each one.

Cornerback Aqib Talib who continued his candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year by shutting out tight end Jimmy Graham went down with a hip injury in the second half and didn’t return. Wide receiver Danny Amendola was lost because of a nasty concussion that left him wobbly after lying still for a couple of minutes.

Linebacker Jerod Mayo left the stadium with his right arm in a sling after injuring his shoulder in the fourth quarter. And right guard Dan Connolly was ruled out with a concussion in the first half.
The Patriots were both proud for overcoming the losses and despondent that a season ravaged by injuries continued down that path.

“It’s the NFL. It seems to happen every week to our team or another team” left guard Logan Mankins said. “We’ll find someone if we have to. I know one thing: Guys on this team will play as hard as they can.”

The Patriots used a couple of looks without Talib. Most importantly safety Devin McCourty stepped up to play cornerback and finish the shutout against Graham and cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Duron Harmon earned a few more snaps.

“A lot of things happened once Aqib went down” McCourty said. “We just had to adjust. With me playing different positions in the defense I’m able to be flexible and I was able to move around and play a bunch of different positions tonight. When you get in these games you can only dress a certain amount of guys. If guys go down you might not get any reps during the week on it but guys came in and played well.”

Marcus Cannon replaced Connolly while the Pats subbed in both Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins to fill in different roles without Mayo.

The Patriots got through it yesterday but their depth will continue to be tested if they can’t get those injured bodies back on the field soon enough.