Patriots gridiron news: Danny Amendola looks to build off Week 1 success

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Danny Amendola
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Danny Amendola /

New England Patriots veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola is back and hopes to follow up his strong Week 1 performance. 

Danny Amendola will be back on the field this Sunday with the New England Patriots take on the Houston Texans.  The veteran receiver looks to continue the momentum he gained in the season-opener in which he caught six passes for 100 yards.

Amendola, who was sidelined in Week 2 due to a concussion, was given the green light this week and hopes he can continue to morph into that reliable target Tom Brady had in Julian Edelman.

He won’t necessarily duplicate the numbers put up by No. 11, but he has similar skill-set that should work to Brady’s advantage.  Of course, his durability will factor in as the concussion suffered in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs quickly served as a reminder of how injury prone Amendola has been.

It doesn’t mean he is not tough, he just has been a player who has been unlucky when it comes to injury.  He has also proven that when healthy, he can be a game changer.  Week 1 is proof of that as the Patriots’ offense began to struggle when he went out of the game.

FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 07: Danny Amendola
FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 07: Danny Amendola /

Entering Week 3, Danny Amendola is just hoping to build on getting healthy and remaining prepared.

"“I mean, there’s going to be bumps and bruises along the way, but that’s football, right?” Amendola said following practice on Friday.  “But I feel really good today, feel strong, so get ready tomorrow and just continue to prepare.”"

Amendola also hopes to build on his 100-yard receiving performance in Week 1.

More practice squad changes

The New England Patriots tweaked their practice squad once again on Saturday.

According to the team, they have signed quarterback Taylor Heinicke to the practice squad and released wide receiver Demarcus Ayers in order to make room for him.

Heinicke is a third-year quarterback who originally signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent.  The 24-year-old product of Old Dominion did make the Vikings 53-man roster in 2015, but was inactive for all 16 games.

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His signing gives the Patriots a little depth at quarterback if Tom Brady were to miss time due to injury.

The addition of Heinicke comes a day after the team signed wide receiver Riley McCarron to the practice squad.

McCarron is another undrafted free agent who fits the mode of former Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.  He also adds some depth at the receiver spot and also has the ability to return punts. 

Rex Burkhead

It looks like the Patriots will be without running back Rex Burkhead when they face the Houston Texans on Sunday.

The versatile running back as been nursing a rib injury and did not see the practice field all week, which is a clear indication that he will not be available for the game.

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Luckily, the Patriots have depth at the position.  Dion Lewis should see his role increase with the absence of Burkhead. Tom Brady’s Mr. reliable, James White, should also see a heavy dose of action in the short passing game