Should we be concerned about the Patriots wide receivers?
Should we be concerned about the Patriots WRs?
In a series of unfortunate and confusing events, the Patriots wide receiver corps looks quite different than many had anticipated going into week one. Brandon Gibson tore his ACL, Brandon LaFell stayed on the PUP list, and Reggie Wayne couldn't handle being a big boy at the age of 36. Those moves have left the Patriots wide receivers in an interesting situation. With Julian Edelman seemingly unhealthy, Aaron Dobson a wild card at this point, and an UDFA as the #4 WR in Chris Harper, there are a lot of questions about this group.
This situation isn't a whole lot different than last year's start of the season. Brady was given new receiver Brandon LaFell, underperformer Danny Amendola, with Julian Edelman as his one tried and true target. Though there is one major difference between this year and last year, and that is everyone else around Brady. Rob Gronkowski is prepared to smash everything in his way. Scott Chandler provides the best #2 TE the Patriots have had since Hernandez. Dobson should be primed to improve upon his good rookie season now that he is finally healthy. Amendola is no longer a disappointment; he proved himself in the playoffs last year. In terms of receivers and tight ends, the Patriots are in a much improved situation.
One position you would not think would have an influence on the receiver position is running back. The Patriots boast three running backs that are capable of splitting out and making plays in the passing game, while also presenting a threat to run. Travaris Cadet is taller than Edelman, Amendola, and Harper and was used in a variety of alignments in New Orleans, proving himself a viable target. James White has shown us what he can do with the ball in his hands, stopping on a dime and changing direction at will. Even Dion Lewis proved his ability to make plays with that impressive spinning catch on a slant route in the preseason that went for a touchdown. All of these running backs will factor into the passing game, and with the current situation, it will be often.
So while the wide receivers aren't exactly what we all had in mind, and apparently not what the Patriots had in mind either given their attempts to trade for one, there is no reason to panic just yet. All indications point towards Kenbrell Thompkins being added to the 53 man roster in the near future, and we have yet to see what this offense looks like at full speed with everyone in the huddle. If an injury should occur before LaFell is able to return then we may have to hold our breaths, but until then we should just wait and see what old Tom Brady has in store for us this year.