FOXBORO, Mass. — Danny Amendola, like most everyone else, loves to go home.
“Hell yeah,” was the New England Patriots receiver’s response when asked Wednesday if there’s extra motivation to play well in his return to Texas for his team’s Week 14 game against the Houston Texans.
“Mexican food and football. That’s what Texas is about,” Amendola said. “I’m excited to see my family and get out there and play. … I’ll obviously have more ticket requests this week.”
Amendola, a Houston-area native, starred at Texas Tech and caught 109 passes for 1,245 yards and six touchdowns as a senior. He also was an all-state football player during his senior year of high school, and his dad still coaches at the high school level in Texas.
Amendola sprained his knee in Week 11 and missed the Week 12 matchup with the Denver Broncos. He returned for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles and tallied seven receptions for 63 yards and one touchdown.
Amendola has taken on extra responsibilities in the Patriots’ passing attack with Julian Edelman sidelined because of an injury, including more snaps as a slot receiver and giving Brady a reliable target on key third downs and in the red zone.
Amendola again will play a critical role for the Patriots this Sunday. The Texans give up the third-fewest passing yards per game in the NFL, have the best third-down conversion percentage and boast an elite pass rush highlighted by reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt.
Points will be hard to earn, leaving Amendola and the Patriots little room for error offensively.
“(The Texans) got a lot of good players in the secondary,” Amendola said. “A lot of experience, really athletic and they play hard. Well-coached, too. It’s going to be a tough task.”
Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images