New England Patriots don’t need to add another wide receiver

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Chris Hogan /

The New England Patriots don’t have much depth at wide receiver with injuries to Edelman, Mitchell, and Amendola, but they don’t necessarily need to add anyone else to the mix.

The New England Patriots offense never quite looked like it was clicking last Thursday night as they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. They’re going to be fine though.

Julian Edelman is out for the season, and Malcolm Mitchell was placed on injured reserve just hours before the game, so he’ll be out for quite some time as well. In the game, Danny Amendola, the leading WR with 100 yards on 6 receptions, left with a head injury and is in concussion protocol. Amendola’s availability is in question now for the week 2 matchup with the New Orleans Saints.

New England now appears to be extremely thin at the wideout position, as they’ll have just Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, and Phillip Dorsett. They do also have special teams ace Matthew Slater if they need him, but he’s never truly excelled as a wide receiver. When asked about the thinning WR group offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said he’s concerned with what he can control.

"“We can’t really control those things. We like our group. It’s an opportunity for us to continue to work on our continuity and consistency, our trust and dependability with one another, with those guys.”"

Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett are both new to the Patriots and their system, and Dorsett has been here just over a week now. Cooks is a step ahead, since he had the offseason and training camp to build chemistry and improve timing with quarterback Tom Brady. You could see that they’re still working out some kinks, but the deep ball to Cooks shold be there occasionally. Dorsett is going to have to learn fast, and will probably put in some extra practice time 1-on-1 with Brady.

More from Chowder and Champions

The three receivers left on the depth chart are going to have to step up, but it won’t all be on their shoulders. I would expect to see a lot more two tight end sets this week with Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen. Rookie Jacob Hollister should also see some playing time now, and he may even be able to lineup on the outside as a wide receiver like Gronkowski does occasionally. Last week, Gronk had just 2 catches for 33 yards. Dwayne Allen didn’t get a ball and Hollister never saw the field. That’s going to have to change in week 2 with the thinning wide receiver corps.

New England also has pass catchers in their backfield, with James White, Dion Lewis, and Rex Burkhead. While Mike Gillislee will be in there to run it in short yardage situations, any of the other 3 backs can take the ball on a reception in the backfield and turn it into positive yards. New Orleans won’t be able to pressure Brady like Kansas City did, so those short and intermediate routes will be available. White and Burkhead each caught passes out of the backfield last Thursday, but expect the volume to increase there.

Next: Patriots 10 greatest defensive players ever

The Patriots will need to face the music and have a tough week of practice ahead of their week 2 game this Sunday against the Saints. The WR group will be thin and everyone else on the offense will have to step up. The defense has their questions to answer as well this week, especially with the lack of a pass rush they created. Week 2 is going to tell us a lot about this Patriots team, and I hope it’s nothing but positive.