The New England Patriots suffered a disastrous blow last Sunday when tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a season ending injury.
Amendola, meanwhile, has had sufficient production this season, but not necessarily in line with what many expected after a standout preseason that drew comparisons to the receiver he’s helped to replace, Wes Welker. As the stakes raise and the postseason draws nearer, both Amendola and Vereen will be pivotal in the attempt to ensure that this version of the offense without Gronk surpasses the one witnessed earlier this season.
Solid play or not, we haven’t really seen what Amendola could do in an expanded role this season as he too has dealt with his own injuries.
The veteran wide receiver didn’t play in three of the five games Gronkowski missed during the tight end’s delayed start to the season, so it will be interesting to see how the Patriots use Amendola without Gronk in the lineup.
As for Vereen, we’ve already seen what he can do out of the backfield as a pass catcher and it’s a role that will continue to expand, especially if the Patriots continue to shy away from Stevan Ridley.