Every Saturday, some of the hot topics surrounding the New England Patriots will be explored.
Mike, what's Amendola's status? #GoPats 💜🏈
— jeanine foisy (@g_unit00) September 9, 2017
Jeanine, Amendola left the game and sideline in the second half with one of the independent spotters, so the assumption has been that he is now in the concussion protocol. There has been no update on where that stands, and using history as a guide, the timing of a player's return can vary depending on the severity of the issue. Meanwhile, linebacker Dont'a Hightower appears to have dodged a serious injury, with NFL Network reporting that it is believed he sustained a minor MCL strain. If the Patriots are forced to play without them, for even just a week, it would add another layer to Bill Belichick's plan of managing the roster as new players such as Phillip Dorsett and Cassius Marsh are integrated into the mix.
Shoulda kicked the fg. 5 min into the game. Woulda been up 10-0. Silly.
— Sean (@Mull1690) September 8, 2017
Sean, we had a debate in the press box before the decision and I took your side, while a colleague liked the idea of going for it. Of course, it's always easier to judge after the fact, seeing the Patriots stopped on the play and the Chiefs turning it into a game-tying touchdown. The reason I favored kicking the field goal was that it created a two-possession game, built a greater margin for error (assuming a successful field goal), and came with the best odds of playing the early part of the game on preferred terms. I'm a little more conservative, in general, with those situations. But the idea of going for an early knockout has merit too. If the Patriots had a better initial alignment on that fourth-and-1 play and executed, maybe we are having a different discussion.
How about Akeem Ayers for D? What happened to Harris?
— Scott Katz (@ScottFKatz) September 9, 2017
Scott, the Patriots had Akeem Ayers in for a workout on Wednesday, and he's making the rounds. In addition to the Patriots, Ayers has worked out for the Giants and Saints this week. He played good football for the Patriots in 2014, and I think he could help them if he still shows some of his form from '14. As for Harris, this was a game in which the Patriots were mostly in their dime package (6 defensive backs) because they wanted more speed on the field. That isn't Harris' game.
The call go out to Ninkovich yet ?
— Rob Davidson (@robdavidson56) September 8, 2017
Rob, I didn't come away from the opener thinking they would make a call to Ninkovich because the focus of the defensive plan was the dime package and the edge rush was productive at times. Overall, I didn't feel like edge issues were that prevalent. So while Ninkovich said on CSNNE he isn't closing the door on a possible return, my sense is that isn't necessarily on the team's radar at this time. Perhaps circumstances will change in the coming weeks.
Hey Mike do you think they've made a call to anquan boldin?
— mattycall (@mattycall) September 9, 2017
Matty, Boldin is retired and if he ever decided to play again, the Bills would own his rights. That's why I don't think it is a realistic possibility.
@MikeReiss Why work out 3rd string QB when team has greater needs at other positions? Possibly Jimmy G trade to fill these thinner spots?
— Mike Pinciaro (@Pinchy08) September 8, 2017
Mike, the Patriots will work out players at all positions in the first week or two of the season, just to keep their emergency lists updated. That's why three quarterbacks, in addition to Thad Lewis, were in town. The team never knows when it might need to tap that emergency list. One thing to think about with the team working out three quarterbacks is that if anything ever happened to Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo that led to them being unavailable for action, the club likely would need to sign a quarterback to their 53-man roster. So that's a big jump and the team wants to be as prepared as possible.