BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots’ depth chart at wide receiver is a bit slim, but the good news is it sounds like Danny Amendola is healthy to start the 2016 season.
Amendola battled a knee injury throughout training camp and looked destined to start the year on the PUP. But he made the 53-man roster on Saturday and made his return to practice the following day, making many wonder if he could be on the field when the Patriots open the season Sunday night in Arizona.
The receiver spoke with reporters on Tuesday, and it certainly sounds like it’s all systems go for the New England receiver.
“I feel good. I’ve been preparing a lot so I feel strong, I feel fast. I’m ready to roll,” said Amendola. “I’m excited to be ready to go, looking forward to this weekend.”
Amendola joins Julian Edelman, newcomer Chris Hogan and rookie Malcolm Mitchell as the true wide receivers on New England’s depth chart, with special teams captain Matthew Slater slotted in as an emergency option. Amendola played 14 games last season, finishing with 65 reception for 648 yards and three touchdowns.
As far as possibly needing some time to knock off the rust, Amendola said he’s been ready to go for some time but he and the team have had a plan in place. He’s been working hard to prepare for his role on the 2016 Patriots, whether that’s in the Jimmy Garoppolo-led offense or on special teams.
As for the absence of quarterback Tom Brady for the first month of the season, Amendola said that will take some time to get used to, but the team is focused on the task at hand.
“Tom is such a good teammate and a leader. His presence is missed in the locker room,” said Amendola. “With that said we’re focused on the future and preparing with the guys we’ve got now.”
Amendola said he doesn’t know anything about the giant Tom Brady banner that is now hanging in Gillette, showing that he doesn’t need to knock any rust off when it comes to sidestepping questions from the media.