New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola completely tore the adductor longus tendon in his groin in the team's Week 1 victory over the Buffalo Bills, two league sources told Yahoo Sports. And it might be the best thing for the Patriots that he did.
Doctors often treat chronic groin pain by snipping the adductor longus – one of the muscles in the groin – from the pubic bone. Since Amendola's tendon ruptured, he essentially did the doctors' work for them, eliminating the need for surgery during the season. It also means he has a faster recovery time than if he had a groin operation.
Normal recovery time, even without surgery, is anywhere from two to six weeks. League sources said Amendola is healing faster than that, at a pace closer to three to four, which means he might play as soon as next Sunday at Atlanta.
The injury also speaks to the extreme pain Amendola can endure. He injured the groin in the first half of the Buffalo game and still played the second half. It's an injury that would have sidelined almost any player for the rest of the day. Amendola, however, returned to catch five passes, including three critical third-down receptions to sustain Patriot drives. He caught three balls on the team's game-winning drive.
Amendola has suffered several significant injuries in his career, most notably the dislocated clavicle that happened against the Arizona Cardinals last year as a wideout for the St. Louis Rams. The bone nearly tore his windpipe and might have killed him. He came back three weeks after that injury, which could be a similar timetable to Amendola's current one.
At first, doctors believed Amendola might have suffered a sports hernia as well. Further tests showed no hernia injury, and Amendola has not reported any pain in his abdomen.
The Patriots need Amendola back soon as they head into a late September and early October stretch with games against Atlanta, Cincinnati and New Orleans. Last week, without Amendola, quarterback Tom Brady completed only 19 passes for 195 yards in a 13-10 victory over the New York Jets. Much of New England's offense was based on the hope he and tight end Rob Gronkowski would provide stability as a young group of wide receivers matured.