Danny Amendola Questionable for Patriots vs. Broncos


New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Am is listed as questionable for the team’s upcoming match-up with the Denver Broncos.

With injuries piling up at a rapid rate for the New England Patriots’ offense, wide receiver Danny Amendola has become a major contributor. Without running back Dion Lewis and fellow receiver Julian Edelman, Amendola has become the primary option in the best part of the Patriots’ offense, the short passing game.

Tom Brady does a ton of damage through the short passing game, using quick and efficient routes to pick up consistent yardage on all downs. Sure, Rob Gronkowski and Brandon LaFell play large roles as receivers in the offense, but Amendola has been the one to pick up the most slack after the Lewis and Edelman injuries. He is becoming an invaluable member of the Patriots’ offense.

Because of that, you can see why there was so much concern when Amendola got hurt against the Buffalo Bills last Monday night. In the third quarter against Buffalo, Amendola left the game with a knee injury and never returned. The Patriots were able to escape with a narrow victory, but it was not pretty. Amendola’s presence on the field was clearly missed.

Luckily, it was revealed a day later that he had only suffered a sprained knee. The Patriots undoubtedly dodged a bullet there, but how soon can they expect their dangerous weapon to return?

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Well, somewhat surprisingly, Amendola did participate in practice all week. It was on a limited basis, so he is unlikely back to 100%, but it was nice to see him quickly get back on the practice field.

According to the Patriots’ official injury report released on Friday, Amendola is currently listed as questionable by the team. The decision to play him or not will likely be one to be made right before kickoff.

The Patriots’ offense is great, but make no mistake, without Edelman, they need Amendola to be on the field and effective to reach their full potential. His great speed, coupled with a natural knack for finding the open spaces in the defense is invaluable for what the Patriots try to do. Amendola also has incredibly consistent hands and an obvious rapport with Brady.

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Now, the Patriots will not be as good without Amendola on the field, but is now really the time they need to be doing everything they can to win? At 10-0 they are the clear favorites to take home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Also, with so much post season experience, they are going to roll into the playoffs as the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Being undefeated is great, but the Patriots need to have their eyes on the post season prize. The goal is to do good enough now, to put yourself in the best position to win in the post season. Being as healthy as possible then certainly has a lot to do with it.

I am not saying to automatically shut Amendola down for a couple of weeks, but is rushing him back right away really the best plan of attack? Hard to say, Bill Belichick is an incredible coach and I will rarely disagree with his decisions, but they need to keep their eyes on the long-term picture.

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Regardless, may be the toughest match-up to date for the Patriots, and Amendola undoubtedly gives them a better chance to win. Will he be ready to go? We probably will not know anything until late on Sunday.