News broke late Wednesday afternoon that Josh Gordon’s knee injury that kept him out of Monday night’s game against the Jets is more serious that we originally thought. In fact, it’s serious enough to land Gordon on the injured reserve list. This is a huge loss to a Patriots‘ receiving core that has been battling to stay healthy all season long. This puts a lot of pressure on Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett while newly acquired, Mohamed Sanu becomes acclimated with the offense.
Gordon’s number have not been very impressive this year, but he does a lot of things that go unnoticed for the Patriots‘ offense. He is a very good blocking receiver, and was a good “bail-out” guy who could go up and get 50/50 balls. The loss of Gordon means that New England is now dependent on N’Keal Harry’s to return from IR next week and to instantly fill that role. Gordon has not very involved with the passing game, but what makes this such a huge loss for New England is the fact that all of their receivers have been battling injuries week in and week out. Gordon was a guy they asked to do a lot of things.
The Patriots‘ offense was able to adapt to the loss of Gordon last season when he was suspended and morphed into a run first, ground-and-pound style offense, but their offensive line was much more effective last season as well. Sony Michel has had a rough start to the season as well, only averaging 3.3 yards per carry. He does have six total touchdowns, but three of those came on Monday against the Jets. The Patriots may have to rely on Michel to carry them like they did last season and if they do, he will need to start to play better.
Another player on the offense is headed to the IR and because it is this late in the season, there is very little hope for Gordon to return at any point this year. Any loss to this offense just puts more pressure on the defense to continue to suffocate opposing offenses. They have clearly been the driving force of this team, and it looks like that will need to continue if they want another run at the Super Bowl. The offense has looked shaky, even though they have regularly blown out their opponents. With the tough schedule they have ahead of them, Belichick and McDaniels need to ensure that the injuries they have on offense do not cost them another Super Bowl.