Safety Sterling Moore collided with McCourty in the second quarter while trying to break up a pass intended for wide receiver Plaxico Burress. McCourty immediately grabbed his shoulder and writhed on the ground in pain. After spending a few minutes on the sideline, he disappeared to the locker room for the remainder of the game, and he left MetLife Stadium wearing a sling.
Moore said he spoke with McCourty after the game, and the 2010 All-Pro was in good spirits.
"He'll be all right," said Moore, who offered to buy McCourty a dinner. "He said he's feeling OK, so that's good."
Reports after the game indicated McCourty didn't break any bones and suffered a separated shoulder. The Patriots will run him through more tests Monday to get a better evaluation of the injury. There was no timetable given for his return.
Cornerback Antwaun Molden, who was benched two weeks ago, replaced McCourty, while Kyle Arrington worked the opposite side and Phillip Adams played in the nickel. That would figure to be the combination the Patriots use if McCourty misses any more action.
McCourty struggled in Weeks 1 and 2 when the coaching staff put him in one-on-one situations without much safety help. They relaxed that strategy a bit, but McCourty continued to fight it for a couple more weeks. He's played much better in the last month, and even with McCourty's struggles earlier in the season, he's become one of the team's most indispensable players.
"You can never replace a guy like Devin, but whoever follows in his shoes has to play on his same level or above," defensive end Andre Carter said. "That's just football. It's very unfortunate because Devin is such a great player, and we have been plagued with injuries. That's something that you hate in this game, but we've just got to stick together, and pull together, and hope for Devin and keep on going."