New England Patriots
WR Chris Hogan could be one of the receivers targeted more now that WR Julian Edelman is out with a season-ending knee injury. Hogan had a productive 2016 season — his first with the Patriots — averaging 17.9 yards per catch and then starring in the the playoffs. The fifth-year receiver caught four of the five passes QB Tom Brady threw to him in their most recent preseason game, finishing with 70 yards receiving and two scores.
Hogan has the quickness and smarts to play the role that Edelman assumed. Eighth-year veteran WR Danny Amendola and second-year WR Malcolm
Mitchell also could see time there. The addition of WR Bran
din Cooks, acquired for a firstround pick in the offseason from the New Orleans Saints, and the healthy return of TE Rob Gron
kowski will help. “This team has to move on with the resources we have,” coach Bill
Belichick said. Edelman, Brady’s favorite target, caught 98 of 159 throws for 1,106 yards, three TDs and 55 first downs last season. Since 2009, Edelman’s first year with the Patriots, they are 84-19 with him in the lineup, 15-10 without him.
Rookie watch: Undrafted DL Adam Butler from Vanderbilt enhanced his chances of a roster spot with several more
plays last week.
Noteworthy: RB Mike Gillislee, returning from a hamstring injury, scored a touchdown and a two-point conversation on his first two carries as a Patriot. Gillislee was signed away from the Bills. … New England traded a second-round pick to acquire DE
Kony Ealy in hopes he’d play like he did in making three sacks in Super Bowl 50 with the Carolina Panthers. But he didn’t mesh with the scheme and was released.