On September 16, the New England Patriots made a deal with the Houston Texans to acquire seldom-used wide receiver Keshawn Martin. While the move was seen as unspectacular at the time, Martin has quietly become an important member of the Patriots' passing game.
When Julian Edelman broke his foot against the New York Giants, it was Danny Amendola, who has seen his number called more often. With Amendola also battling injuries recently it was the former Texan's turn to step up.
During yesterday's loss against the New York Jets, Martin - with Edelman and Amendola inactive - delivered his best performance of the season, catching seven passes for 68 yards. He became Tom Brady's go-to guy on a day the quarterback, due to shaky offensive line play, often didn't have the time to let plays develop.
While Martin doesn't possess the quickness of Julian Edelman or the dependability of Danny Amendola, he has become an integral member of New England's passing attack in the last weeks. Most importantly, he is sharing practice and playing time with Brady. This will potentially help develop a similar kind of chemistry his fellow wideouts have already developed with the quarterback.
It could play dividends come playoff time.
With the return of Edelman and Amendola, Martin's snap number will probably decrease. Still, to have another dependable option available - one Brady trusts - will make the Patriots' passing attack even more dangerous and tougher to defend. Hopefully, Martin can rise up to the challenge and become this option. Yesterday's game, as ugly as it was overall, showed that he might be on the right track.