The New England Patriots are limping into the 2013 NFL season. They’ve lost their top 5 receivers from 2012. The only one returning is Rob Gronkowski but he is injured and unlikely to be available at the beginning of the season.
That has the Patriots considering playing Shane Vereen at tight end or wide receiver.
This depleted Patriots squad is making an early match up very appealing to NFL opponents according to NFL executives.
“Three of the quarterback’s four best weapons are gone, if you throw (Brandon) Lloyd in there,” one NFC executive told NFL.com’s Albert Breer. “The run game is solid, but how much of that was because of how well they throw it? The defense is just OK. … I think they’re average, depending on when Gronk gets back. Teams are gonna be biting at the bit to play them early on.”
Now it’s unfair to not point out that the Patriots did sign Danny Amendola to replace Wes Welker. Amendola, however, is no Wes Welker. He has also battled injuries and struggled to stay healthy.