New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - AFC EAST -

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.

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