In one of their most notable roster moves Saturday, the New England Patriots decided not to place wide receiver Danny Amendola on the reserve/physically unable to perform list to begin the 2016 season.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained the rationale behind that decision Sunday in a conference call with reporters.
“We wouldn’t activate a player unless we had the medical department clear him and felt like he would be able to perform and participate,” Belichick said. “Danny works hard like he always does, and we feel he’s ready to come off that reserve designation.”
Amendola has yet to participate fully in a practice since undergoing offseason surgeries on his knee and ankle. He missed all of training camp and did not play in any of New England’s four preseason games.
Since he will begin the season on the active roster, Amendola will be eligible to play as soon as he is healthy enough to do so. Had he been placed on reserve/PUP, he would have been forced to sit out until at least Week 7.
It’s unclear when Amendola will be ready for game action, but it is telling that the Patriots decided to keep just four wide receivers on their 53-man roster — Amendola, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell, who also is recovering from injury — rather than the expected five.
Amendola tweeted the following shortly after Saturday’s roster cut deadline:
Amendola played in 14 games last season, ranking second on the team in catches (65) behind Rob Gronkowski and third in receiving yards (648) behind Gronkowski and Edelman.
The Patriots open the regular season next Sunday night against the Cardinals in Arizona.
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