Patriots’ Receiving Corps Battling Injury Bug As Training Camp Heats Up

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FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots’ vaunted receiving corps has taken its fair share of lumps during the first six days of training camp.

Of the 11 wide receivers on New England’s roster, five have either missed a practice or been limited due to injuries, testing the depth of a unit that should be one of the NFL’s deepest this season.

Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell have spent most of camp working out on a separate field away from the team, a clear indication they’re not at full strength. Amendola returned to the main field late in Wednesday’s practice but did not take any reps in 11-on-11 drills.

Matthew Slater and Chris Hogan both missed the tail end of that practice, with Hogan watching the final few minutes of the session with an ice pack on his right knee and Slater retiring to the medical tent before exiting the field early.

Rookie Cody Hollister hasn’t practiced since Friday, when he left Day 2 of training camp with what appeared to be a hand/arm injury.

And Julian Edelman, while he’s been a full participant in all six practices, didn’t look 100 percent Wednesday. He appeared to be favoring one foot/ankle at points.

The Patriots do not release injury reports during training camp, so the severity of all of these injuries is unclear. Our guess is that most are relatively minor — Hogan, for example, told ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss he felt fine after Wednesday’s practice — but even so, they leave New England a bit thin at the position.

The only Patriots receivers who have not shown signs of wear and tear this summer are Brandin Cooks, Austin Carr, Devin Lucien, Tony Washington and K.J. Maye, and of that group, only Cooks is a lock to make the 53-man roster. Washington and Maye both were signed within the last week.

Carr might be the player who benefits most from this spate of injuries. The undrafted rookie out of Northwestern is enjoying a solid camp thus far but has a slim chance of making the team if New England’s top six receivers (Edelman, Cooks, Hogan, Mitchell, Amendola and Slater) all are healthy.

Carr made headlines for the acrobatic catch he made on Day 1 of training camp, and he caught four more passes Wednesday, including a long touchdown from Jimmy Garoppolo.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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