It’s only Week 2, but Bill Belichick is already in midseason form when it comes to handling questions from the press. He was characteristically prickly after New England’s loss to Philadelphia in Week 1, giving his usual non-answers and cliches to every question lobbed his way.
He maintained that gruff persona on Wednesday when reporters asked him about the status of wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was limited by a knee injury on Sunday and only played 54% of the Patriots’ offensive snaps. His New England debut was relatively disappointing, as he finished with 4 catches on 7 targets for 33 yards.
Here was Belichick’s update on Smith-Schuster:
JuJu Smith-Schuster Injury Update
As you can see, Belichick isn’t giving anything away about the state of his top wide receiver. With an important divisional game coming up against the Miami Dolphins this weekend, he certainly doesn’t want to tip his hand or give anything away that would help Mike McDaniel prepare.
Then again, it could be more than that. Perhaps Belichick is frustrated that his top offseason signing is already banged up. No one likes realizing they bought a lemon, and maybe he’s already feeling a sense of buyer’s remorse.
Regardless, New England needs Smith-Schuster if it wants to hang with Miami this week. The Dolphins just torched the Chargers for 36 points and 466 passing yards, so the Pats are going to need to bring it on offense if they want to keep up. Having a reliable veteran like Smith-Schuster for Mac Jones to throw to will be key in what could be a high-scoring game.
In the meantime, Patriots fans will certainly want to keep an eye on the injury report this week in the run-up to Sunday’s game. If Smith-Schuster isn’t able to practice this week or is still limited on Sunday, that will make it tougher for New England to pull off the upset.
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