The Patriots are no strangers to injuries.
Their 2015 campaign was one of their worst runs of luck. Belichick was often left without pivotal players down the stretch. One of the most decimated areas of the roster was the receiving corps.
On Monday, the repercussions of professional football’s dangerous blows reared its head again in Foxborough.
Danny Amendola is still recovering from offseason knee & ankle surgeries, per source. At this point, too early to know when he'll be ready.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 16, 2016
Danny Amendola battled the entire season through injury. He was one of the most versatile players in the entire lineup despite being hampered by injuries. The extent of these injuries was not known until Monday.
Amendola had a bone spur in his ankle. That was a quick fix, not as much of an issue as the knee.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 16, 2016
It’s extremely positive to know that Amendola still managed to suit up and play with vigor despite his ailments. His offseason surgeries were both simple and complicated, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. The bone spur is no big deal at all, but the surgery performed on his knee was more of an issue. One can infer that it likely featured some type of structural damage to the joint. I’m no doctor, but it’s obviously unlikely that he played with a torn ACL. It’s more likely he is getting meniscus repair or something less serious taken care of.
Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Ahmad Bradshaw – there's a bunch.
— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) May 12, 2016
With Julian Edelman, there isn’t much cause for concern. The hardest part of his rehab was likely prior to his comeback last season. This last procedure was done in order to tighten some instability in his foot that Edelman felt cutting and performing drills. This secondary procedure is absolutely normal for this type of surgery. They did nothing more than go into the foot and tighten the screw.
With both injuries, I believe it’s likely that Edelman returns before Amendola. There is potential that both are not ready for the start of training camp. Due to the fact there is no exact information about Amendola’s knee surgery, it’s really difficult to speculate his return to full speed. If it was any significant type of structural repair, Amendola may not be ready by the beginning of the season.
Surgery for Edelman. Surgeries for Amendola.
Come to me, Chris Hogan. Come to me now.
— C.D. Carter (@CDCarter13) May 16, 2016
With both injuries, rookies and veterans on the roster will have expanded roles in training camp. Drafted wide receivers like Devin Lucien and Malcolm Mitchell should be even more motivated to perform at a high level and learn the playbook. The Patriots also signed Chris Hogan, and Nate Washington to contracts prior to the Amendola surgeries. Keshawn Martin, Chris Harper, Aaron Dobson, and DeAndre Carter are also listed on the depth chart at this point.
Anquan Boldin's going to be a mid-to-late summer, post-injury-at-WR free-agent add who catches 60-70 passes and scores 6-7 TDs in 2016.
— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) May 13, 2016
It’s completely possible that the Patriots may bring in an unrestricted free agent also. Don’t forget that veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin is still out there. He would likely come cheap as he remains unsigned.
It’s unlikely that the Patriots turn to Boldin because Amendola and Edelman will probably return to full speed by the beginning of the season. If Amendola’s injury was extremely significant and would hamper his career, Belichick wouldn’t have restructured his contract in the first place. He would have likely cut him to move on, relocate the cap space. Bill is as cut throat as it comes, if there was any concern with his injury he’d already be gone.
So Patriots fans, there is no reason to panic about the health of your wide receiver core at this time. Both of Tom Brady’s important targets should be back in order to form a formidable offensive arsenal in 2016.
But will Tom even be the one taking snaps through the first four games? That is the biggest question entering training camp.