Danny Amendola and Dion Lewis could have some competition for New England Patriots return duties.
The Patriots signed wide receiver Bernard Reedy off their practice squad Saturday in a somewhat surprising move.
Reedy adds valuable depth as a returner and at wide receiver, where the Patriots are just three-deep on their depth chart with Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola and Phillip Dorsett as Chris Hogan nurses a shoulder injury. The Patriots have been playing shallow at receiver without Hogan for three games, however.
Reedy has played nine career NFL games, all of which came this season. He caught two passes for 21 yards and carried the ball three times for 17 yards. He also returned seven kicks for 145 yards and 14 punts for 143 yards while with the Bucs this season.
Reedy came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo in 2014. He’s spent time with the Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots signed him to their practice squad Nov. 22 after he was waived by the Buccaneers on Nov. 17.
Reedy, who’s 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, ran a 4.52-second 40-yard dash at his pro day in 2014 with a 1.55-second 10-yard split, 6.84-second 3-cone, 4.07-second short shuttle, 37-inch vertical leap and 10-foot broad jump.
In four years at Toledo, he caught 195 passes for 2,743 yards with 23 touchdowns, carried the ball 30 times for 153 yards with two touchdowns, returned 76 kicks for 1,800 yards with three touchdowns and returned 29 punts for 317 yards with one touchdown.
Beyond adding depth at receiver, Reedy could spell Lewis and Amendola at kick and punt returner, respectively. Lewis and Amendola are important cogs in the Patriots’ offense, and could be used heavily down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs. Both players have missed solid chunks of time with injuries during their careers, so Reedy could be a way to keep them healthy to play offense.
Lewis’ offensive role has increased, but he’s continued to return kicks for the Patriots. New England might not want to risk using their top ball-carrier on special teams moving forward.
All of Amendola’s most recent injuries have occurred on punt returns. He’s avoided a major injury this season, but the Patriots’ offense would struggle without his steady presence in the slot.
Thumbnail photo via Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports Images
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