The New England Patriots needed wide receiver Danny Amendola to return punts against the Los Angeles Rams because rookie Cyrus Jones muffed his first attempt. Amendola has patiently waited for his playing time and has risen to the occasion whenever his number has been called.
So it was sad to see Amendola limp off the field after a Rams special teams player landed awkwardly on Amendola’s ankle. Amendola was on crutches and in a walking boot after the game according to the Herald’s Karen Guregian.
Danny Amendola just left on crutches and in a walking boot— Karen Guregian (@kguregian) December 4, 2016
Here is the play where the Rams gunner trapped Amendola’s foot and ankle under his body.
Amendola was a crucial part of the Patriots depth chart. Amendola was good for a key third down or red zone conversion every single game. He was the back-up slot receiver who could step up if either Julian Edelman or Chris Hogan were injured. He also served as a back-up returnman on special teams.
Without Amendola, the Patriots only have three real wide receivers on the active roster in Edelman, Hogan, and rookie Malcolm Mitchell. The offensive depth chart was already thin with Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve and Martellus Bennett dealing with an ankle injury.
Theoretically James White or Dion Lewis could spend time in the slot, but the Patriots would probably promote a practice squad player like DeAndrew White if Amendola is expected to miss more than a week or two or time. Hopefully it is a minor ankle sprain.
Update: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Amendola suffered a high ankle sprain and the Patriots are aiming to have him healthy for the playoffs.
#Patriots WR Danny Amendola suffered a high-ankle sprain in the win vs #Rams, source said. Plan is to make sure he's ready for the playoffs.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 5, 2016
Look for the Patriots to send RB D.J. Foster back to the practice squad, or even recently claimed DT Darius Kilgo, in favor of a receiver like WR DeAndrew White or Devin Lucien.