After playing a limited number of snaps in each of his first two games with the New England Patriots, Josh Gordon took a major leap in Week 6.
The big “X” wide receiver played 63 of a possible 78 offensive snaps Sunday night. He also was quarterback Tom Brady’s most targeted receiver. He caught five passes on nine targets for 42 yards, plus he drew a 37-yard defensive pass interference penalty. Gordon played just 18 snaps in each of his first two games with the Patriots.
“I think each week his role has increased in practice and… as far as the number of different things that he feels comfortable and we feel comfortable with him doing,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday in a conference call. “So, I think it will continue to go that way. That may not necessarily correlate exactly with number of snaps.
“We don’t sit there and count snaps during the game, but I would just say his role is expanding weekly, and we’ll just see how it all plays out.”
It’s rare for a wide receiver to join the Patriots mid-season and immediately take on a starting share of snaps. Gordon has nine catches for 124 yards with a touchdown in three games this season.
Putting that into perspective, Phillip Dorsett caught just 12 passes for 194 yards in 15 games after joining the Patriots prior to Week 1 last season.
Gordon has leapfrogged Dorsett and Chris Hogan on the Patriots’ receiver depth chart. He still trailed wide receiver Julian Edelman in snaps Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Gordon has emerged as the Patriots’ “X” receiver and has shown plenty of promise. If Gordon can stay clean off the field, then the sky is the limit for the Patriots’ offense as the wideout continues to grow more and more comfortable in his new surroundings.