Patriots fans are still reeling from the news that DeAndre Hopkins is joining the Tennessee Titans instead of New England. Fans were looking forward to potentially having a star wideout for the first time in years, only to be disappointed when Hopkins chose the Titans over the Pats in free agency.
Unfortunately, New England doesn’t have many options available to significantly upgrade at wide receiver. With only a week until training camp starts and the start of the season rapidly approaching, the Patriots’ receiving corps is unlikely to change much between now and then.
On the plus side, New England got some positive news on Monday evening regarding its main offseason acquisition at wide receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Injury Update
The Boston Globe reported on Monday that Smith-Schuster, who has been dealing with a knee injury, will be ready to go for the start of training camp on Tuesday, July 25.
Smith-Schuster initially suffered the injury back in January when he was still with the Kansas City Chiefs. The injury occurred during the AFC Championship Game against the Cincinnati Bengals, forcing him out of the contest after just 1 catch for 7 yards.
The veteran wideout returned for the Super Bowl, helping Kansas City win the title with 7 catches and 53 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent most of the offseason rehabbing, but that didn’t deter the Patriots from signing him to a three-year, $25.5 million contract (with $16 million guaranteed) in free agency.
While there were concerns that the 26-year-old may not be ready for the start of preseason, the latest reports have put those doubts to rest. Assuming he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, he’ll now have a full preseason to build chemistry with his new quarterback, Mac Jones.
This is undoubtedly good news for the Patriots, as Smith-Schuster will likely be their No. 1 receiver this year now that Hopkins is off the table. Smith-Schuster led all Chiefs wide receivers in targets (101), catches (78) and receiving yards (933) last year, so New England fans are hoping he’ll have a similar impact in 2023.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Prop Bet
One bet Patriots fans can make right now is on Smith-Schuster’s receiving yards prop for the upcoming season at Caesars Sportsbook. Caesars has his over/under listed at 675.5 yards with both sides available at -115 odds.
Looking at Smith-Schuster’s track record, he seems likely to hit the Over on this as long as he’s healthy. He’s gone over 675.5 receiving yards (comfortably, I might add) in four of his six seasons so far, which includes 2021 when he only played five games. He’s averaged 798 receiving yards per season despite never starting more than 14 games, so if he can stay on the field he should see enough volume to cash the Over, especially if he emerges as Jones’ go-to weapon.
If you sign up for Caesars with our promo code FSFANSFULL and deposit at least $10, your first wager of up to $1,250 will be returned as bet credits if you don’t win, guaranteed!
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