The former St Louis Rams man caught 10 passes from Brady for 104 yards making several key plays on third in his side's win, despite going down with a recurrence of a groin injury in the first half.
Brady told radio station WEEI: "He was battling all week to get out there, and he fought really hard to do it. He got out there, and it bothered him enough in the first half where he went out.
"But he really fought hard, showed a lot of mental and physical toughness to get out there to play in the second half. And what a great second half he played. It was just awesome."
New England face the New York Jets in their second game of the NFL season.