This is what many feared. Danny Amendola looked every bit the part of a younger Wes Welker for the New England Patriots in Week 1's victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Amendola caught 10 gutty passes for 104 yards and converted a whopping seven third-down catches for first downs. The Patriots probably do not win that game without him.
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The problem? He missed chunks of the game with a balky groin, and now that same injury could keep him out in a short-week game against the New York Jets on Thursday.
#Patriots WR Danny Amendola, who turned in a gutty 104-yard performance in the opener, is almost certain to miss the Jets game, source says
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 10, 2013
Amendola's reputation, fair or not, from the early stages of his career is that he's brittle. Some of his injuries (a broken collarbone, for instance) should not enhance that reputation. But he has missed a slew of games with other nagging ailments. Thursday could be the next in that line, if the report is true. Amendola was not spotted during the early portions of Tuesday's practice that was open to the local media.
Without him on the field Sunday, the Patriots' offense was a lot of ugly. Rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (four catches on 14 targets, one end-zone drop) was not ready for primetime. The tight ends, collectively, were targeted three times, totaling one catch for five yards. Stevan Ridley fumbled in the second quarter and was never heard from again. Oh, and Ridley's replacement, Shane Vereen — who also was heroic as a runner and receiver — will be missing the next few weeks at least with a broken bone in his wrist.
Tom Brady looked frustrated for much of Sunday's victory. The Bills' corners were squatting on routes and not respecting the deep passing game. That's because there was no deep passing game. And with Amendola possibly out, there might not be a short or intermediate weapon to rely on.
Trouble? We'll see.