Patriots took two planes to Houston, kept ill players separate from others

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The illness that swept through the Patriots this week caused a lot of absences from practice and it led the team to make a change to their travel plans.

Rather than the usual approach of having the entire traveling party take one plane to Houston, Field Yates of ESPN reports that the team split up into two planes. The ill players took one plane in order to avoid any chance of infecting the others ahead of Sunday night.

The Patriots listed nine players as questionable because of illness. Linebackers Jamie Collins, Dont'a Hightower and Ryan Van Noy are all in that group along with left tackle Isaiah Wynn and right tackle Marcus Cannon. Cornerback Joejuan Williams, safety Patrick Chung, offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor and cornerback Stephon Gilmore round out the group.

Tight end Ryan Izzo was also sick this week and has been ruled out. Cornerback Jason McCourty and defensive lineman Byron Cowart are out for other injury reasons.