New England Patriots slot receiver Danny Amendola has a reputation for being an injury-prone player, but there is a huge difference between being purportedly injury-prone and lacking toughness. Amendola is one of the toughest players in the NFL today, and I feel convinced of that. Remember how he threw his helmet after sustaining a clavicle injury that could have killed him? Remember him coming back only a few weeks after that severe injury last year? Well, I’m sure everyone not inflicted with severe short-term memory loss remembers him playing through an aggravated groin injury yesterday, and Danny Amendola put forward an immaculate performance. The ten catches for 104 yards are just one part of the story, because Amendola made some “wow” plays on that final drive (four catches for 26 yards in total) that kept things going. He was there for Tom Brady when Brady needed a star to throw to, and Amendola’s impact on this game cannot be understated. His impact on this team as the season wears on will be akin to the impact Wes Welker had in 2011 and 2012.
New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola (80) catches a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Patriots beat the Bills 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Amendola spoke about playing through the injury yesterday as a large crowd of reporters surrounded him, “I really didn’t have my legs under me in the first half. Came in, made some adjustments and just tried to make as many plays as I could in the second half. ”
“You’ve just got to keep fighting, that’s what it’s all about. It’s a long game, it’s a physical game and it’s honestly a fight out there every play. We did a good job out there today fighting until the very end. It was a great field goal at the end there by (Gostkowski).”
That chemistry between Tom Brady and Danny Amendola was in full force on Sunday, and Amendola definitely delivered on the lofty expectations most of us had for him. His performance was filled with toughness, star power, and intestinal fortitude, and I hope he has already become a fan favorite.