Pats' Hightower, Amendola out vs. Saints

Hightower will be sidelined with a knee injury, Amendola is dealing with concussion and knee issues

New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, center, runs after catching a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. Amendola left the game in the fourth quarter with a head injury. The Chiefs defeated the Patriots 42-27. The good news for New England is that the last three times it lost its season opener it went on the win the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The New England Patriots say four players have been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, including starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower and receiver Danny Amendola.

The team said Friday that Hightower will be sidelined with a knee injury. Amendola is dealing with concussion and knee issues. Special teams captain Matt Slater (hamstring) and defensive tackle Vincent Valentine (knee) will also sit.

Valentine was the only one of the four players to participate in a practice this week, appearing in a limited basis on Thursday.