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It was previously announced that New England Patriots WR Josh Gordon was stepping away from football in order to focus on his mental health. This came in result of Gordon violating terms regarding his reinstatement towards the substance abuse policy.
The Patriots are now 11-5, and have granted themselves a preliminary bye week to start the postseason. Moving towards a Super Bowl run, someone needs to fulfill Gordon’s role in the offense. Here are 3 Patriots receivers that may see an increased role:
3. Phillip Dorsett (2018 Stats: 32 receptions, 290 yards, 3 TD)
Since being traded to New England in exchange for QB Jacoby Brissett in 2017, Phillip Dorsett has been lackluster at best. The 25-year old didn’t reel in a reception from Week 13-16, and his 5 receptions in Week 17 was his most receptions since Week 2.
While Josh Gordon is more of a 50-50 red zone target, Dorsett could provide speed-based explosiveness that defenses will struggle to cover. During his combine in 2015, Dorsett posted a 40-time of 4.33 seconds.
It’s unlikely that Dorsett can solely fulfill the role of Josh Gordon within the Patriots offense, but he’s more than capable of being in part of a committee that does so.
2. Chris Hogan (2018 Stats: 35 receptions, 532 yards, 3 TD)
Chris Hogan currently ranks 3rd among Patriots receivers in receptions, behind only Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon. In result, it would make sense that Hogan sees his role in the New England system increase.
Aside from his 63-yard TD reception in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15, Hogan hasn’t seen the end zone previously since Week 2, where he caught 2 TD against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tom Brady currently ranks 13th in passing yards per attempt, so look for Hogan to also be part of a committee that attempts to pick up slack for Gordon’s absence. During the 2017 postseason, Hogan reeled in 6 receptions for 128 yards and 2 TD.
1. Cordarrelle Patterson (2018 Stats: 21 receptions, 247 yards, 3 TD)
Based on game film alone, it seems as though Cordarrelle Patterson is going to see the largest increased role in the New England Patriots offense. This came into light during the final play of the Patriots vs Steelers game, where instead of throwing Josh Gordon on the field, Bill Belichick elected to plug in Patterson.
In his first season with New England, aside from Week 17, Patterson has touched the ball in each consecutive game, either as a receiver or running back. Used as a “utility” player of sorts, Patterson has the ability to expand the playbook a bit more.
Cordarrelle Patterson has yet to play a meaningful snap of postseason football, but has the opportunity to make a splash with Tom Brady as the quarterback. The New England Patriots will be crippled at best on offense, but Patterson can at least ease the blow.
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