After Early Injury Scare, Amendola Catches On In Patriots Debut
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BOSTON (CBS) – For those concerned about wide receiver Danny Amendola, he certainly showed he can play through pain in his Patriots debut on Sunday.
Slowed by what appeared to be a groin injury in the first half, Amendola returned to play a major role in New England’s 23-21 comeback victory, hauling in a team-high 10 catches for 104 yards.
“I love playing with these guys. I’ve only been here for a short time but these guys really rally together,” Amendola said after the win.
“I really didn’t have my legs under me in the first half. I came in and made some adjustments and tied to make as many plays as I could in the second half,” he said.
Amendola On WBZ-TV’s Patriots 5th Quarter:
Amendola said he wasn’t sure if he would return as he sat on the sidelines in the first half, and he still isn’t quite sure what ails him (at least, that’s what he said in the locker room). He was listed as probable on Friday’s injury report, a status you can probably pencil him in for for the remaining 16 injury reports this season.
But, he wanted to get back out and make the most of his Patriots’ debut.
“You just have to keep fighting. That’s what it’s about,” he said. “It’s a long game — it’s a physical game. Honestly, it’s a fight out there, every play.”
“He gave everything he’s got, so that’s all you can ask. I thought he was going to be out the rest of the game but he showed a lot of toughness,” quarterback Tom Brady said of his receiver. “He really toughed it out which was pretty impressive. We have a whole team full of fighters. There are going to be some ugly wins, but we’re always going to fight.”
Amendola came up huge in the fourth quarter for New England, moving the chains on four different occasions. Three of those first-down catches came on third down, including two on the game-winning drive. In all he caught nine passes that led to a New England first down, with seven of them coming on third down.
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With his catch-and-run capability Amendola has been compared to Wes Welker, who made a career moving the chains during his six years in New England. Welker is now doing his thing in Denver, and when asked about his fellow Texas Tech alum after Sunday’s win, Amendola said he’s just focused on what he does on the field.
“I don’t really think about that stuff. I just try and think about my job,” he said. “Wes is a great player — one of the best, most productive receivers ever to play the game. He’s really innovated the slot position. I’ve learned a lot from him.”
“I’m just excited to be here, and I’m just excited to make plays with these guys,” he said.