Not even one month into his tenure with the New England Patriots, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu suffered a high-ankle sprain that forced him to miss one game and limited him throughout the rest of the season. As a result of the injury not healing properly over the course of the offseason, Sanu later had to undergo surgery: he went under the knife in early March to repair his ankle, and had to spend the two months since in a walking boot.
According to a report by NFL Network’s Mike Giardi, however, the boot has recently come off and Sanu has since started his rehabilitation process. While it remains to be seen how quickly he can return to form — and when the Coronavirus pandemic allows him and his teammates to hit the practice fields again — this development is a positive one for both the player and a Patriots passing offense that had its fair share of issues during the 2019 season.
When he hurt his ankle last November, Sanu was in his third game as a member of the Patriots: the veteran receiver started the 2019 season with the Atlanta Falcons, but was traded in exchange for a second-round draft pick in mid-October. Once in New England, he made an immediate impact by filling the second receiver role alongside Julian Edelman and catching 12 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown in his first two games with the club.
His ankle injury, however, changed his trajectory: while Sanu eventually improved towards the end of the regular season, he failed to get on the same page as quarterback Tom Brady on numerous occasions — it can be presumed that his ankle played a part in this. Despite his quick start, therefore, the ex-Falcon ultimately finished his first half-season in New England with nine in-game appearances and just 27 receptions for 218 yards and one touchdown.
Sanu is entering 2020 projected to be a top-three wide receiver for the Patriots alongside Edelman and second-year man N’Keal Harry. While he carries a sizable salary cap hit of $6.5 million — one that could be redone in the coming weeks in order to create some short-term relief for the team — the expectation is that he will get a chance to prove his value to a club that did not invest a draft selection at the position.