The old phrase of “adding insult to injury” is starting to apply to the New England Patriots. Josh Boyce was the latest player to go down, marking the third and final rookie wide receiver to get hurt. His future status is unknown, but any serious injury to Boyce would certainly be another big blow.
Boyce did not play much until two games ago, but he has impressed since he has hit the field. He caught four passes for 42 yards against the Miami Dolphins while displaying some nice moves after the catch. Tom Brady has yet to heavily utilize Boyce as a deep threat, but one can see it coming. It should be just a matter of time before Boyce makes a big play.
But none of that is possible if Boyce’s injury is anything serious. Right now, all Patriots officials are telling us is that Boyce suffered a leg injury. There is no indication of how much time he is going to miss, if any at all. If he does miss time Brady might have none of his rookie wide receivers on hand for an upcoming road game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins are still on the shelf. Dobson has missed the last three games while Thompkins has missed the last two games. Without Rob Gronkowski, the health of the rookie receivers cannot be overstated. Opposing defenders will do all they can to take Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen out of the game, leaving Brady no choice but to make a hero out of Dobson, Thompkins or Boyce.
So that is why Boyce must get healthy. When in the lineup he serves as the one true deep threat with speed to burn. Brady may rarely look deep, but there is no doubt that he needs a wide receiver who can take the top off a defense.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.