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Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez ruled out vs. Cowboys after suffering shoulder injury

Christian Gonzalez plays against the Cowboys' Michael Gallup during the first quarter.Sam Hodde/Getty

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Patriots rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter Sunday afternoon against Dallas.

The team initially listed him as questionable to return before downgrading him to out of halftime.

Gonzalez hurt his right shoulder while tackling Cowboys running back Tony Pollard near the sideline after a 5-yard run. Gonzalez stayed down on the field before quickly trying to make his way back to his spot on the field. But he couldn’t do so, and crouched in pain.

Patriots athletic trainers ran onto the field but Gonzalez walked off without assistance and immediately visited the blue medical tent. He spent five minutes in the tent before heading back to the locker room. On his way, Gonzalez kept his right arm close to his body and also flexed his fingers.

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Losing Gonzalez would be a hit to the Patriots, as he’s played a major role in helping the secondary contain opposing receivers. Entering Sunday, Gonzalez had been on the field for all but one of the team’s defensive snaps (99.48 percent).

Also troubling for the Patriots is that their cornerback depth is significantly depleted. Jonathan Jones missed his third straight game Sunday (ankle), while Marcus Jones (torn labrum) and Jack Jones (hamstring) are on injured reserve.


Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.Follow her @nicolecyang.