The Patriots receiving corps is quite thin at the moment, as the team elected to only dress three wideouts for Sunday’s game against the Lions. It hurt them in a big way, as the Lions were able to roll their coverage toward tight end Rob Gronkowski, with none of the team’s wide receivers being able to consistently get open and make plays in the 26-10 loss.
Julian Edelman won’t be eligible to return to the field until after their Week 4 matchup against the division-leading (3-0) Dolphins, which puts the spotlight on newly-acquired receiver Josh Gordon, who was inactive on Sunday night, as he’s been nursing a hamstring injury.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels recently provided an update on Gordon in a conference call with reporters, saying that the 27-year-old has been “eager” to learn in his new environment.
“I think he’s learning,” McDaniels said, via Doug Kyed of NESN.com. “Look, it’s not easy to come in in the middle of the week and try to pick everything up immediately, guys coming from different systems. But he’s doing a really good job of working hard at that and trying to get himself caught up so that he knows what to do when he’s out there and can do it at a dependable level. I think he’s really doing a good job of that, and then we’ll see as he progresses this week, if he gets any closer to being able to be active.”
McDaniels also touched on if Gordon will be able to learn the Patriots’ system, which others have struggled with in the past.
“And I’m not worried at all about Josh’s ability to pick up our system,” he said. “He’s already demonstrated an ability to do that.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also spoke about how Gordon has been progressing, during his weekly appearance on Westwood One Monday night, speaking with Jim Gray.
“He’s working to learn,” Brady said. “He’s working to understand how we do things. Whenever he’s back healthy and out there and that’s when we really get to work on seeing what we’re all capable of when we’re out there.”
It will be interesting to see how Gordon fares, assuming he suits up and takes the field on Sunday. He hasn’t been a very polished route runner in the past, so he’ll need to clean that up if he’s going to be getting targeted by Brady. The Patriots offense is one of the most complex in the league, and it takes time to pick it up. Brady and the coaching staff appears to be optimistic about how he’s faring thus far, though.