Many of the Patriots in the lineup for Super Bowl LII had played in previous Super Bowls, but it was the first chance for wide receiver Brandin Cooks to try for a ring.
Cooks would not be around for most of the proceedings, however. Cooks was drilled by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins while trying to run after a catch in the second quarter of the game and ruled out almost immediately after being taken back to the locker room.
Quarterback Tom Brady said it was “frustrating” to lose Cooks to the head injury and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said he felt bad for Cooks missing out on a chance to do more in the biggest game of his career.
“I mean, obviously it made an impact somewhat, McDaniels said. “I thought that Phillip (Dorsett) and Chris (Hogan) really stepped up, made a lot of big plays. But that’s what a football team does. You have to go through that every single week. You’ve got adversities whether you come into the game with injuries or get hurt in the middle of the game, guys are practiced and prepared to do that, and I thought they did a good job. I’m more upset for Cookie, has an opportunity to play in his first Super Bowl, and then to get cut short there, that was disappointing for him.”
Brady threw for 505 yards over the course of the evening and the Patriots scored 30 points after Cooks’ injury, so it’s hard to say his absence swung the pendulum in Philadelphia’s direction. It was just one of the things that went wrong for the Patriots on the way to a painful loss.