DETROIT — The Patriots got one starter back for their third exhibition game but were missing another, as safety Devin McCourty got his first game snaps on Thursday night, but receiver Danny Amendola sat out the 40-9 blowout loss to the Lions at Ford Field.
Amendola did not practice Monday or Tuesday because of an unknown injury, and it’s unlikely he made the trip.
Also of note, Vince Wilfork did not play with the starting defense. The big tackle worked one on one with strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash in warm-ups, including extensive stretching.
Though it is unclear why Wilfork did not play, he was likely held out because it was an exhibition game. Instead, he played the role of coach, giving his teammates advice as they came off the field.
McCourty did not play in New England’s first two exhibition games as a precaution. He underwent offseason shoulder surgery and wore a red non-contact jersey in practice in camp before shedding it this week. He started at safety alongside Steve Gregory. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.