New England Patriots: With Chris Hogan out, Phillip Dorsett must step up

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 22: Phillip Dorsett
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 22: Phillip Dorsett /

The New England Patriots have ruled out Chris Hogan for Sunday night’s game against the Denver Broncos putting more emphasis on Phillip Dorsett. 

The Next man up philosophy will be on full display Sunday night when the New England Patriots take on the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium.

On Saturday, the team ruled out wide receiver Chris Hogan due to a shoulder injury suffered in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Chargers.  With Hogan out, both Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks will have increased roles at the wide receiver position. The lack of wide receiver depth also means Phillip Dorsett will get his chance to shine.

Acquired from the Indianapolis Colts in a deal for quarterback Jacoby Brissett prior to the start of the season, Dorsett has caught just four passes for 85 yards.  Known mostly for his deep pass play capabilities, the former first-round pick out of Miami has not figured much in the offense.

That is, until now.

A chance to shine

TAMPA, FL – OCTOBER 5: Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett
TAMPA, FL – OCTOBER 5: Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett /

Without Hogan, Dorsett will slide up into the No. 3 spot.  That does not mean his number will be called a lot.  Tom Brady still has Rob Gronkowski, the running backs and possibly Martellus Bennett to get the ball to, but Dorsett could become the secret weapon that the Denver Broncos mush maligned secondary does not account for.

Simply stated…when his number is called, Phillip Dorsett must make the plays. If he does come through, this could serve as an opportunity for him to establish more of a role in the Patriots’ offense, even when Chris Hogan returns.

More from Chowder and Champions

Developing the chemistry

With increased repetitions and learning the offense since he was added over 10 weeks ago, Dorsett is certainly ready and says he has put in the work to contribute in this offense.

"“When it comes to learning a new offense, you just have to put in the work,” Dorsett told the media on Thursday, via Yahoo! Sports.  “You put in as much work as you can and learn as much as you can each day, and that has been helpful for me.”"

The third-year receiver also went on to emphasize how chemistry is developed on the practice field and the importance of taking advantage of opportunities when given the chance.

"“You take advantage of the reps that you get in practice and make plays,” Dorsett added.  “That is how you get comfortable in the game.  As a football player, you have to stay read at all times because, in sports, things happen, and I’m still on top of things.”"

Next: New England Patriots v. Broncos: Week 10 game preview and predictions

The true test for Phillip Dorsett will come from any trust he has gained from Tom Brady.  If the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback has that trust, he will target Dorsett more and more as the game goes on.  If that trust is not there, No. 12 will not look his way.