BOSTON (CBS) — In the locker room, in the meeting rooms, in the huddle, and on the field, there may be no more important Patriots player right now than James White.

That’s why, when the veteran running back stayed down after getting tackled in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Saints, the effect across the Patriots’ roster was immediately seen.

And though the details of White’s injury remain unreported — the team announced he had suffered a hip injury and ruled out his possible return almost immediately after White rode on the back of a cart to the locker room — his teammates expressed a major level of concern after the game.

C David Andrews: “It is a tough part of this game and we don’t really know what happened, but you hate it. And for a guy like that, who really does give his all to this team, day in and day out … the world could use some more James Whites.”

WR Jakobi Meyers: “It is going to hurt, because he is a great guy on the field and off the field, and a lot of guys look up to James White. I know I do. So just seeing him laying down there and seeing him get put on the cart, it kind of makes your heart jump a little bit to your stomach. I mean we know we have to keep playing, but losing someone like James White definitely hurt a little bit.”

WR Kendrick Bourne: “I have always been a fan of him from just watching football throughout my life. I’ve seen James since I was young and then meeting him in person, it was like, ‘Wow he is who he looks like on TV.’ So, to lose him is crucial. He is a very important guy on third down — really on all downs but especially on third downs. He is a problem for defenses and they have to watch him. We have some other guys who can help take his place so we can hold it down until he gets back, but praying for him.”

RB Brandon Bolden: “Same feelings when anybody get hurt, but when it’s one of the guys you run with, one of the guys who you train with, one of the guys that you bleed and sweat with, it kind of hits a little different, so prayers to him and hope he gets through it.”

QB Mac Jones: “I think James is a great player, but he’s also a good person. He does everything right all the time. It seems like he just goes about his business. He comes into work every day. It’s not like he’s cutting any corners short because he’s an older player and knows it all. He continues to work. That definitely sucked to see him go down. We’re all behind him 100 percent, and he’s a team leader, and he’s a great team leader, and he’s a great Patriot. We all want to be, if we can, like James. He’s a big role model for me. I hope he’s okay, and thoughts and prayers to him and his family.”

CBSBoston.com Staff