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The Patriots wide receiver did not return to New England’s 42-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after suffering a head injury in the second half.
Amendola was Tom Brady’s top-targeted receiver at the time of his exit, hauling in six catches for 100 yards. The eight-year veteran was filling in admirably for Julian Edelman — who will miss the 2017 season with a torn ACL — running many of the same short and intermediate routes his receiving mate would have.
Gronk’s groin aliment doesn’t appear to be as serious, however. The tight end told reporters “I’m good” following the game, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Gronkowski was having a solid game before the injury. The 21-yard catch put him over the 100-yard mark for the game. He finished with six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots selected Rivers with the No. 83 overall pick. The 6-foot-4, 248-pound Youngstown St. product compiled 173 total tackles and 37.5 sacks in four seasons. Rivers displayed good burst at the college level and the ability to disrupt the passer. His versatility to play defensive end or stand up as an outside linebacker meshed perfectly with the Patriots’ defensive preferences.
The Pats were already thin at pass rusher before Rivers’ injury. The blow to their top draft choice, coupled with Rob Ninkovich’s retirement, makes the group even shallower heading into the 2017 season.
Pelissero noted Ealy has “started to settle in lately,” but the 2014 second-rounder has hardly staked claim to the end spot previously manned by Rob Ninkovich, who recently retired.
Set to land on his third team if a trade goes down, Ealy wouldn’t net much for the Patriots in a trade. Still, it certainly gives New England faithful a player to watch closely in Friday night’s regular-season dress rehearsal with the Lions.
After getting dealt to the Patriots midway through last season, the former Lions second-round pick logged a sack, a forced fumble and two pass breakups in seven appearances with the Patriots. On Thursday night in a loss to the Chiefs, he was in on six tackles.
And on Friday, he agreed to a two-year extension with the Patriots, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported. Van Noy, 26, is the type of player who can fit in with Matt Patricia’s versatile defense and log time at multiple positions. While New England’s defense was tuned up at a historic rate in their 42-27 loss to the Chiefs, they can still identify valuable talent when they see it.