The New England Patriots dominated the NFL news yesterday because of their trade with the San Francisco 49ers: The team sent backup quarterback and potential Tom Brady successor Jimmy Garoppolo to California in return for a second round selection in the 2018 draft. The move was not the only Patriots-related news yesterday.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the team also received news about wide receiver Chris Hogan:
#Patriots WR Chris Hogan does not need surgery for his shoulder injury, source said. Just rest & rehab, out a few weeks. Reevaluate post-bye
Hogan hurt his shoulder in Sunday's 21-13 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Chargers and was later spotted with his arm in a sling. The “best-case” per Rapoport was an AC joint sprain, the same injury Tom Brady suffered earlier in the season. While Rapoport's latest report does not name the ultimate diagnosis, it appears the Patriots and Hogan may have dodged a bullet.
And while “a few weeks” is rather vague, Hogan not needing surgery is cerrtainly a good sign for the wideout's long-term availability. Until he returns to the field, New England's wide receiver depth chart will consist of Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola as the top two targets, with Phillip Dorsett the main backup and Matthew Slater an emergency option.
Of course, the team might opt to run fewer snaps out of three-receiver packages and instead turn to their tight ends and running backs to fill the void created by Hogan's potential absence – if it actually extends into the Patriots' upcoming games.