The questions go beyond just the wide receivers.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski had his fourth surgery on his left forearm on Monday. He broke it on Nov. 18 while blocking for an extra point against Indianapolis, then broke it again in New England’s first playoff game, a win over Houston. He’s also been bothered by back problems.
“We expect this to be the last surgery on his forearm and he should make a full recovery, according to the doctors I met with,” said Drew Rosenhaus, Gronkowski’s agent. “The surgeons said it went as well as they could have hoped for. Rob was in good spirits after the operation.”
But just when he’ll be able to get back on the field is uncertain.
Meanwhile, the jockeying goes on for roster spots at wide receiver. Two draft picks figure prominently in that competition — second-rounder Aaron Dobson of Marshall and fourth-rounder Josh Boyce from TCU.
For Amendola, establishing a relationship with the other receivers and Brady is a constant process.
“It’s very important,” he said. “It’s something that you work on every day in the meeting rooms. Outside of the building, forming a relationship (helps) you play better on the field.”
After signing with the Patriots, Amendola worked out with Brady in California.
“Any time you get a jump and you get to work with each other is good,” Amendola said.
Brady and Welker did that for five years, not counting 2008 when the former suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener. In those five seasons, Welker caught 443 passes.
Amendola has caught 196 passes in his four pro seasons with a high of 85 in 2010. Last year, he had 63 receptions for 666 yards while Welker had 118 for 1,354.
Amendola figures to take over from Welker as slot receiver but said he’s not concerned with comparisons between them.
“That’s not something I need to worry about,” he said. “I’m worried about the playbook and getting the reps down and getting on the same page with my teammates and the good thing is I don’t have to worry about that stuff.”