CINCINNATI -- After missing three games with a groin injury, New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola made his return to the field on Sunday, logging 38 of 63 snaps and leading the team in both catches (four) and receiving yards (55).
The receiver was limited early in the game, often being held off in two- and three-wide-receiver sets, but after it was over he said he felt OK in his first game back.
"I felt pretty good," he said. "There's a lot of work to be done and we've just got to get better."
Amendola also revealed a bit about the process leading up to the decision that he was going to play, as he alluded to the fact that he had a "good idea" he'd be on the field when he traveled with the team on Saturday. Ultimately, the decision came down to how Amendola felt as he prepared for the game, something he tested during an extensive pregame warm-up.
"It was just something that, it was day-to-day all week and it just felt good enough to play," he said.
The pregame warm-up was important for Amendola in order to ensure that he was fully ready to roll.
"Practice is practice during the week, then you get into the game, adrenaline's flowing, it's a lot faster," he noted. "I had to make sure I was ready, but I felt pretty good."
On the field, Amendola nearly corralled his first touchdown catch with the Patriots, coming up inches short as he nearly rolled in for the score.
"I caught it, I knew I was close," he said of the play. "I thought I could roll in, I thought I was going to be in, but it didn't roll that way."
Things didn't roll the way the Patriots' offense wanted them to throughout the day, as a late chance to tie the score amid difficult conditions -- steady rain -- came up short. Amendola said the team was ready for the rain, but the offensive futility ultimately came down to a need to execute better.
"It was raining, but that's something that we practice," he said. "We anticipate playing in the rain, we just need to get better."