The New England Patriots suffered a tough loss to the New York Jets as Tom Brady was left to make something out of nothing with a good portion of his playmakers not on the field. The offense for the Patriots was stagnant as the team did not have either Julian Edelman or Danny Amendola on the field while LeGarrette Blount was done for the season. That team was not happy with the loss and with one game left in the regular season, will Brady get back his top two receivers before the playoffs?
Edelman has been at practice the past few weeks with a foot injury, but has yet to be seen at practice. According to NESN.com, the receiver is hoping to see action in Week 17 in order to get in some playing time before the postseason. There are no guarantees. He looked like he could have been active against the Jets, but the Patriots opted not to make the move. The team is hoping to allow him limited playing time in the season finale before being on the field for the playoffs.
Amendola is a mystery. The receiver suffered a knee injury that is not season-ending, but might keep him out until the postseason. According to the Boston Herald, Amendola's knee injury is not serious, but the Patriots are not interested in taking the risk. That left the Patriots with Brandon LaFell and Rob Gronkowski following the release of Leonard Hankerson. That was not enough to get past the Jets.
The run game is another question mark for the Patriots. Without Blount and Dion Lewis, seven players found themselves in the rushing section of the boxscore. Brandon Bolden led the way with 30 yards while Steven Jackson eased in with seven carries for 15 yards. Jackson was a surprise active in Week 16 as many wonder why Montee Ball was not the choice. The veteran did not show much, but head coach Bill Belichick believes that will change.
"I think we'll get him in there. We'll see how it goes. I wouldn't think it would be a very expanded role, but something to get started on and build on," Belichick said during his pre-game interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
The Patriots still have all of the confidence despite the loss. The team is hopeful that the return of Edelman and Amendola will get the offense moving in the right direction. The run game will need to pick up. Bolden looks favored for the workhorse role while James White is the pass catching back. If Jackson can improve, the team might be in a good spot.