FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots should have their No. 1 receiver at their disposal when they host the Buffalo Bills on “Thursday Night Football.”
Jakobi Meyers, who suffered a shoulder injury that limited him to 16 snaps in last week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings, offered a promising update on his status when speaking with reporters Tuesday.
“It’s better,” Meyers said. “A lot better than the hit.”
Meyers told the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan that he expects to play Thursday against Buffalo, which would provide a massive boost to New England’s passing game. Meyers has more than twice as many catches (47 for 571 yards and three touchdowns) as any other Patriots wideout this season. Only running back Rhamondre Stevenson (50) has more.
The 26-year-old impending free agent is on pace for a career high in receiving yards despite missing two games with a knee injury and most of another with the shoulder ailment he suffered on the opening play of the Minnesota game. He was evaluated in the sideline medical tent and taken to the locker room for X-rays before eventually returning to the field.
“I’m great, honestly,” said Meyers, who has been a limited participant practice this week. “Mentally, I’m great, and physically, it’s football. You take some hits, you take some lumps, you get back up. But mentally, I’ve got a good support system, a good team, a bunch of good teammates, so it’s been pretty easy.”
Even with Meyers absent for stretches, the Patriots posted their best offensive performance of the season last week, scoring on six of their first seven possessions before fading in the fourth quarter in a 33-26 defeat at Gillette Stadium. They had managed just two offensive touchdowns over their previous three games.
Quarterback Mac Jones threw for a career-high 382 yards and two touchdowns in the loss, with Stevenson (nine catches, 76 yards), wideouts DeVante Parker (4-80-0) and Nelson Agholor (6-65-1) and tight end Hunter Henry (3-63-1) carrying New England’s balanced passing attack. Meyers finished with three catches for 36 yards in limited action.
“I feel like it’s been up and down all season, but we’re definitely starting to figure it out, in my opinion,” Meyers said. “I feel like guys are starting to understand what they need to do, what kind of plays they’ve got to make.”
The Patriots also should get starting center David Andrews back from injury against Buffalo, though they’ll most likely be without running back Damien Harris, who left the Vikings game with a thigh injury and did not practice this week.