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In pleasant surprise for Patriots, Matthew Slater plays on

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It didn't look good for New England Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater. But apparently looks can be deceiving.

Slater required help to leave the field with 3:08 remaining of Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts, walking off slowly with his arms over teammates Brandon Bolden and Brandon King for support. NBC later reported that Slater sustained a leg/knee injury.

Slater was covering a punt and while attempting to make the tackle, collided with safety Patrick Chung. After the play, NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya noted that Slater was being consoled by a number of teammates on the bench area.

"Medical staff looking at his right knee and he appeared to be in great pain," Tafoya reported during NBC's broadcast.

Then after the game, Slater was carted past a group of reporters, presumably for medical tests.

Given those dynamics, it would have been easy to assume the worst when it comes to Slater's injury status.

Yet the first sign that Slater avoided a scare came Tuesday when he walked through the locker room during the media-access period without the aid of crutches. Slater declined to comment to reporters that day.

Then Wednesday, Slater was present for the start of practice, going through drills with teammates at the start of the session (he was limited from an overall participation standpoint).

While Slater might still miss time, what looked like a potential serious injury instead is something that hasn't even knocked Slater out of a full practice.