Patriots gridiron news: Danny Amendola an ‘uncoverable’ force when healthy

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Tom Brady /

The importance of a healthy Danny Amendola has been highlighted this season with the New England Patriots.

No Julian Edelman, no problem.  Veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola has stepped up as a reliable, dependable receiver this season for the New England Patriots in the absence of No. 11.

In just four games this season, Amendola has 23 receptions for 267 yards and a touchdown.  Those totals have him on pace for a 1,000-yard season if he can remain healthy, which with his injury history is highly doubtful.

Nonetheless, the 31-year-old wide receiver has provided a security blanket for Tom Brady, who had nothing but praise for Amendola when speaking about his production so far this season.

"“He’s had such a great year,” Brady said, as transcribed by WEEI.  “I can’t say enough good things about Danny and everything he’s meant to our offense.  He’s so tough.  To me, he’s just uncoverable.  You turn on the tape, he’s getting away from people, no matter what the route, no matter who’s on him, the leverage, the distance of the route.  He’s just been so great for us this year, and I’m going to try to keep finding him.”"

Brady then referred to the trust that has developed between himself and Danny Amendola.  A trust that has come a long way since No. 80 first joined the team four seasons ago.

Though injuries have been the main reason for Amendola’s lack of production during his tenure with the team, he has shown in the past during big moments and this season that he is a reliable force in the offense when healthy.

A new tight end in town 

Watch out Dwayne Allen, there’s a new tight end in town.

The team announced Thursday that they have added two players to the practice squad.  One of those players is veteran tight end Will Tye.

The 25-year-old linebacker joins the practice squad with NFL experience.  As a member of the New York Giants, Tye caught 90 passes for 859 yards with four touchdowns in 29 games played.  He has also played three games this season with the Jets, hauling in four receptions for 38 yards.  He was released on Oct. 3.

With both the struggles of Dwayne Allen in the Patriots’ offense and injury concerns surrounding Rob Gronkowski, Tye does add some depth at the position.

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The team also re-signed linebacker Trevor Reilly and released defensive back Alex Carter and placed offensive lineman Cole Toner on the practice squad injured reserve list to make room for both players.

Injury report

While Tom Brady’s left shoulder is still dominating headlines, the New England Patriots 7 other players limited during Thursday’s practice.

Among those limited besides Brady were tight end Rob Gronkowski, linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Elandon Roberts, running back Rex Burkhead, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, cornerback Stephon Gilmore and special teams ace Matthew Slater.

Offensive left tackle Nate Solder did return to practice after missing Wednesday due to a non-injury related issue.

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Cornerback Eric Rowe did not practice and is likely out for Sunday’s AFC East matchup versus the New York Jets.