The ankle injury that derailed Mohamed Sanu’s 2019 season reportedly will require surgery to repair.
The New England Patriots wide receiver will go under the knife this offseason after the high ankle sprain he suffered in mid-November failed to heal properly, according to a report Friday from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
After his injury failed to heal this off-season, Patriots’ WR Mohamed Sanu needs surgery on a high ankle sprain that plagued him throughout last season, per source. The surgery helps explain why Sanu’s production tailed off last season; he played through a lot of pain.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 28, 2020
Sanu injured his ankle returning a punt during a Week 11 win over the Philadelphia Eagles — his third game in a Patriots uniform following a midseason trade from the Atlanta Falcons. The veteran wideout had broken out with 10 catches on 14 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown in New England’s previous contest, but his production cratered after the injury.
Though he missed just one game and eventually was removed from the Patriots’ injury report, Sanu caught just 13 catches on 29 targets for 110 yards and no touchdowns over the final six weeks of the season, including a five-target, one-catch performance in New England’s wild-card round loss to the Tennesse Titans.
That stretch also featured a number of ugly drops by Sanu, who continued to serve as the Patriots’ primary punt return despite having minimal NFL experience in that role.
Known for his smarts and route-running savvy, Sanu was viewed as a natural fit for New England’s offense when he was acquired ahead of the trade deadline, and the 30-year-old garnered praise from head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady after his arrival. He has one year remaining on his contract and is set to make $6.5 million in salary in 2020.
Since his deal includes no dead money, Sanu has been mentioned as a potential cap casualty this offseason. No timetable for his recovery has been reported.
The Patriots’ receiving corps currently consists of Sanu, Julian Edelman, second-year pros N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski, and 2019 practice squadders Devin Ross and Quincy Adeboyejo. Expect them to add to that group this offseason through free agency, the trade market and/or the 2020 NFL Draft.