While the New England Patriots mostly survived the flu outbreak that led to eight players missing practice on Wednesday, they have ruled out cornerback Jason McCourty (groin) for Sunday night's game at the Houston Texans.
The team also announced Saturday that defensive lineman Byron Cowart (head) has been downgraded to out. Only one player -- backup tight end Ryan Izzo -- is out due to the flu.
Five starters -- All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore, safety Patrick Chung, linebackers Jamie Collins Sr. and Dont'a Hightower, and left tackle Isaiah Wynn -- reportedly were feeling better and were listed as questionable on Saturday's injury report.
McCourty, in his 11th NFL season, will miss his second straight game. He has 40 tackles and one interception while playing the first 10 games for the 10-1 Patriots.
Two other players who missed last Sunday's hard-fought 13-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys -- wide receivers Mohamed Sanu (ankle) and Phillip Dorsett (concussion) -- were set to make the trip to Houston.
--Field Level Media