Patriots

Patriots

FOXBORO -- Jamie Collins is no longer dealing with the illness that has forced him to miss two consecutive Patriots games, but he's still coping with the after-effects. 

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the third-year linebacker is "over" the virus he's been dealing with since late in Week 9. While he was sick, however, Collins couldn't keep food down and lost weight that sapped some of his strength. 

The Patriots picked up wins over the Giants and Skins in Collins' absence, using linebackers Jonathan Freeny, Jerod Mayo and Jonathan Bostic to help make up for his loss. Fellow starting linebacker Dont'a Hightower has also continued to factor into the game play significantly with Collins out, though he dealt with a bit of an illness that limited him to 36 snaps against Washington. 

Collins was not present at practice on Wednesday, the fourth session he's missed since being added to the injury report nearly two weeks ago. Rapoport tweeted, however, that there's hope Collins will be able to play against the Bills on Monday Night Football early next week.

Despite missing two of the team's nine games thus far this season, Collins has still played more than any other player in New England's front seven (469 snaps). He has racked up 51 tackles, 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles on the year.