Danny Amendola is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury that will likely keep the speedy wideout out of Thursday’s preseason contest against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Julian Edelman is the next man up at the slot receiver position for the New England Patriots.
After spending most of the summer on the roster bubble, Edelman finally appears to be a lock to make the 53-man-roster after the Patriots released veteran wideout Michael Jenkins earlier this week. Edelman is the only holdover receiver from last year’s roster but is projected to be the No. 5 receiver on the depth chart.
Injuries have been the major deterrence to Edelman in his career. The 27-year-old wide receiver has managed to stay on the roster, despite missing 14 of a possible 64 regular season games in his career, because of his versatility. Edelman has been used as the team’s punt returner and has also been utilized as a defensive back in recent seasons. With Leon Washington expected to be the team’s return man and a revamped secondary, Edelman’s best chance of helping the Patriots win in 2013 will be as a wide receiver.
There is no secret that Amendola, the team’s No. 1 slot and overall receiver, is injury prone. If Amendola goes down, Edelman will be counted on to supplant him in an offense that is predicated on the use of short passes to the tight ends and slot receivers.
Edelman has a chance to shine in the passing offense on Thursday night versus the Lions. The Patriots will look to throw the ball early and often versus the Lions, who rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense this preseason. Tom Brady will look to exploit the atrocious Lions’ secondary that has let up five touchdowns through the air in two preseason games. Brady will throw in Edelman’s direction constantly and the wideout must be ready to make plays in the open field. Thursday’s contest against the woeful Lions’ secondary presents a perfect opportunity for Edelman to break loose for a statement game to show he belongs on the Patriots roster moving forward.