What is Julian Edelman's Role in New England Patriots Offense Once Danny Amendola Is Back?

By Jared Smith
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The rumor going around is that Danny Amendola is going to be playing Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals. If for some reason he does not go against the Bengals, he should definitely be in the lineup Week 6 against the New Orleans Saints. With that said, what happens to Julian Edelman when Amendola comes back? The only game this season that they both have played in was Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills. In that game Amendola got the targets and catches over Edelman, but Edelman got more red zone looks. Amendola is the starter in the slot and Edelman is the backup, but with them both healthy will the Patriots just play both WRs since Tom Brady seems to be comfortable with both guys?

Edelman has done nothing but shine in Amendola’s absence, and as long as he is healthy he needs to be on the field. The Patriots run a lot of three or four receiver sets, so they both will be on the field a lot. Once Rob Gronkowski comes back as well, the two little slot receivers could become a nightmare for opposing defenses. Everyone knows what Gronk is and he will demand game plans against him, but while teams are game planning for Gronk, Amendola and Edelman could run wild all over the field. With the loss of Aaron Hernandez, Edelman could become that type of player where he will line up all over the field. With Edelman being the top guy and defenses focusing on him, he has still produced. With defenses focusing elsewhere, he could be in line to continue his big year. There will be less targets coming his way, but he will have more opportunities to get open and produce big plays.

In a contract year, Edelman has put up numbers that have other teams paying attention to him. He is on pace for a Wes Welker-like season, which is a lot to say for the former seventh round pick. The Patriots may not have the typical pass catchers that star in other offenses, but moving forward they could be tough to handle and turn into a top offense. Gronkowski is hard to cover as it is, but he will open up so much space for guys like Amendola and Edelman which could lead to big years out of the slot for both players.

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