Danny Amendola could be seen hobbling around the field at times on Sunday, but he didn’t let an injury keep him from helping the Patriots pull out the win in Buffalo.
Amendola has been battling a groin injury for a few weeks now, causing him to miss the Patriots’ final two preseason games. He pulled up lame midway through the second quarter on Sunday, clearly favoring the injury, and left the field for a few series. The apparent strain didn’t limit his production, though, as Amendola put on a gutty performance in his Patriots debut, catching 10 passes — nine of which went for first downs — for 104 yards on the day.
Tom Brady seemed to find a rhythm with his new receiver as the game went on, looking Amendola’s way eight times in the second half and completing four passes to him on the Patriots’ game-winning drive. While Brady said he was pleased with the results of the connections Sunday afternoon, he was far more impressed with the toughness Amendola showed in fighting through the injury.
“He was battling all week to get out there, and he fought really hard to do it,” Brady said on the Dennis and Callahan Morning Show on Monday. “He got out there, and it bothered him enough in the first half where he went out. But he really fought hard, showed a lot of mental and physical toughness to get out there to play in the second half. And what a great second half he played. It was just awesome.”
The chemistry that Brady and Amendola showed on Sunday has been brewing for some time. They flashed it all throughout the preseason, leading to plenty of excitement and more than a few Wes Welker comparisons, and the quarterback-receiver tandem were finally able to do it for real on Sunday.
“That’s what Danny’s done since he’s gotten here,” Brady said. “He’s been able to find different open spots in zones and catch it, catch the ball in traffic, make diving catches. He’s done such a great job of that. That’s a really positive thing that Danny brings to our offense. The more often that he can do that, the better it’s going to be for us. We’ll see how it goes over the course of the year.”
The Patriots have a short week ahead of them with the Jets coming to town for a Thursday night showdown.