BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots have a short week to prepare for their Thursday night visit to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. But they may not have to deal with one of Atlanta’s most explosive players.

That player is Cordarrelle Patterson, whom the Patriots and New England fans are familiar with after his do-it-all season with the Pats in 2018. Patterson was a receiving and rushing threat for the Patriots that season, and helped the team win its sixth Super Bowl in his only season in New England.

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He’s now double dipping for the Falcons, and is one of the most electric players in the NFL today. He has 39 receptions and five receiving touchdowns, while rushing for 303 yards and a pair of scores on the ground. Bill Belichick had loads of great things to say about Patterson’s playmaking abilities when chatting with reporters on Monday.

“CP is capable of really, with the ball in his hands, pretty much anything on the field. He’s a tremendous player,” Belichick said of Patterson. “He’s dynamic. He can break the game open on kick returns, catching the ball, and running the ball or a combination of both. He did that for us. He’s done that for every team he’s been with in the league.

“He’s tough. He’s a very competitive player, and he’s got a very good and explosive skill set. He’s a problem,” added Belichick. “CP is having a tremendous year. No play he makes really surprises me. I’ve seen him make those before. He runs by guys on go-routes. He takes short runs or passes and explosively breaks tackles or busts through a hole and chews up 25, 30 or more yards in a hurry. He’s got excellent hands, big hands. He’s a big guy. Hard to overthrow or hard for the quarterback to miss him, and [Matt] Ryan doesn’t miss many anyway. He’s an excellent target with good hands and a strong, powerful man that’s very hard to tackle. He’s a really good football player.”

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But Patterson may not be suiting up against his former team come Thursday night, as he’s dealing with an ankle injury that he suffered during Atlanta’s Week 10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Barring a lot of fast healing by Patterson, it doesn’t sound like he’ll play Thursday night, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Patterson only touched the ball five times against the Cowboys — four carries, one reception — and played just 15 offensive snaps in the 43-3 loss. The New England defense is absolutely rolling at the moment, but life will be a lot easier if they don’t have to worry about Patterson’s dual threat on a short week.

The Patriots didn’t have to see Nick Chubb in Week 10, and held Cleveland to just 99 rushing yards on Sunday. It appears they’re in for a second straight week of backup running backs, with the Falcons likely counting on Wayne Gallman and Mike Davis to pick up yards on the ground in Week 11.

Gallman rushed for 55 yards on 11 carries on Sunday and added a 21-yard reception. He has 88 yards on 23 carries for the season. Davis has 289 yards and a touchdown on 88 carries with another 24 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown.

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CBSBoston.com Staff