Nobody was surprised when Danny Amendola limped off the field in the first half of the New England Patriots opening game. We all knew it was coming — we just didn’t think it would happen so soon.
Well, it has. Just one game into his tenure as a Patriots player, Amendola officially finds himself on the injury report. And even though we all knew it was going to happen, it doesn’t lessen how devastating the loss is for New England this week.
The New England receivers did not look good on Sunday to say the least when the Patriots squeaked out an opening weekend win against the Buffalo Bills. They’re too young, too inexperienced and were overwhelmed by their first taste of regular season NFL football.
Kenbrell Thompkins was especially disappointing. Thompkins, who came out of nowhere this summer to have an impressive showing in preseason action, was everything we all thought he would be before those big preseason games. He was confused on when and where to break off his routes, surprised by the ball on the more than one occasion, and seemed taken aback by how different the game was now that they counted.
There were only two bright spots for the New England receivers in the first week. One was Julian Edelman, another Wes Welker clone who did good work on the underneath routes. The other was Amendola, who will be patrolling the sidelines instead of the holes in the defense when the Patriots take on their division rival the New York Jets on Thursday night.
The Patriots have been winning games on the back, or rather the arm, of quarterback Tom Brady for years now. This week, and maybe this whole year if Amendola can’t stay on the field, it won’t matter how good Brady is if he truly doesn’t have anyone to throw the ball to.