Heading into the 2016 season, the New England Patriots’ tight end depth chart was widely considered one of the if not the best in the NFL. After all, the unit featured Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett, two top-ten players at the position.
However, the duo played only one healthy series together alongside quarterback Tom Brady; the opening drive of the Patriots’ week 5 game against the Cleveland Browns. On its final play, Bennett injured his ankle. While he returned to the game to catch three touchdown passes, the exact severity of the injury was not known outside of One Patriot Place.
Today, Ian Rapoport provided additional details about what Bennett is dealing with:
#Patriots love Martellus Bennett’s toughness. Example: He plays with a cracked bone & bone chips in his ankle. Surgery likely this spring
Despite the injury, Bennett was still able to catch 40 passes for 454 yards and six touchdowns afterwards. Now, he has at least one or in the best case scenario two games to fight through the issue.
The injury might not only impact Bennett’s on-field performances but most certainly will influence his offseason. After all, the 29-year old is set to enter untestricted free agency in March. While team, as Rapoport notes, is impressed by Bennett’s toughness and willingness to play through injury, the follout of a likely surgery might alter a potential Patriots’ offer to re-sign their current top tight end.