BOSTON (CBS) — Phillip Dorsett may have just arrived in New England, but injuries and attrition at receiver have thrust the Patriots’ newest wideout into a bigger role sooner than expected. It’s why the newcomer’s own injury, and status for Sunday’s Week 3 tilt against the Texans, are an immediate concern.
But Dorsett himself believes that he will be out there against Houston.
“I feel good. I’m just a little sore but I’m alright,” Dorsett told reporters on Monday when asked about the knee injury that forced him to leave last Sunday’s 36-20 win over the Saints in the fourth quarter. When asked if he will be available to practice during the week, he said confidently, “I hope so.”
Dorsett caught all three targets from Tom Brady for 68 yards against the Saints, adding an end-around handoff for seven yards. His personal highlight was a 38-yard catch that nearly got the receiver into the end zone. But it was what Dorsett did on Chris Hogan’s first-quarter touchdown that really got Brady fired up, as Dorsett drew Saints cornerback Sterling Moore’s coverage toward the middle of the field to leave Hogan wide open in the corner of the end zone. Dorsett’s subtly important execution on the play drew an exuberant show of appreciation from the quarterback after the touchdown was confirmed.
Dorsett was just happy to see the Patriots score.
“It means a lot, just knowing what to do out there and being able to execute it, and it actually ends up in a touchdown, it does mean a lot,” said Dorsett.
The receiver has been spending a lot of time off the field studying the Patriots playbook as he gets up to speed, and that extra work is already paying off. One might think that the injuries to the Patriots receiving corps would create added pressure on Dorsett to play through his injury, but he doesn’t see it that way.
“I wouldn’t say ‘pressure’,” said Dorsett. “Injuries happen. It’s football. But if you’re a tough guy then you can go out there and you can play. Of course, if it’s something serious, it’s serious. But nicks and bruises, we have the guys in this building to be able to play through stuff like that.”
Dorsett’s injury situation remains worth monitoring, but so is his rapidly growing role in the Patriots offense.