Sometimes free agents do not work out in the NFL. That has been an understatement when it comes to Danny Amendola, who has recently been operating as the No. 3 wide receiver for the New England Patriots, despite being paid to be the team’s No. 1 wide receiver. Well, it could be time for Amendola to move up to the role of No. 2 wide receiver due to injuries to Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson.
Thompkins was the most recent rookie wide receiver to go down after suffering a head injury against the Indianapolis Colts. With Dobson already ruled out before the game, Amendola was left as the proverbial “next man up.” He did make a play, getting behind the Colts defense for a 53-yard reception. Amendola just might have to be the deep threat for this team, which is a scary thought indeed.
More than likely, Amendola could at least replace Thompkins’ ability to produce on the intermediate level. Even though Amendola is better out of the slot, he has shown some versatility in the past. There were times when Amendola played outside receiver for the St. Louis Rams.
It is not an ideal situation, however. Much like Julian Edelman, Amendola relies on his quickness to get open. Opposing defenders can jam Edelman and Amendola, so that they do not get open in small windows. That would leave Tom Brady with essentially no viable targets to throw to. And as we found out before, no viable targets usually means a lack of quality production, even for an elite quarterback like Brady.
So the best thing to do is hope that Thompkins and Dobson get healthy. That way, Josh McDaniels can run more three-receiver sets with Dobson and Thompkins on the outside and Edelman in the slot. In other words, it would be best if Amendola and Edelman were not on the field together in anything less than a four-receiver set.
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.