5 Players who must step-up for Patriots

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2. Keshawn Martin/1. Aaron Dobson

You may have forgotten about Martin, as he hasn’t suited-up since the Week 6 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. He’s been dealing with a hamstring issue that forced him out of action in Week 10. But upon his return, he will be expected to contribute in Edelman’s absence.

It should be noted that in the limited playing opportunities Martin has been given, he has delivered. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars in September, Martin raised eyebrows by getting open for a scrambling Brady for a red-zone touchdown. Against the Colts, he caught a 39-yard bomb from Brady. Yes, Martin has caught just four passes since joining the Pats, but keep in mind that only five wide receivers have caught passes from Brady this season.

The only other wideout not mentioned yet is Dobson, and that’s mainly because the Patriots usually shy away from giving Dobson much of a workload. But Bill Belichick will be scheming all week about how to fill the Edelman void, and Dobson is just as likely as Martin to become the No. 3 in the Pats’ receiving corps. And unlike Martin, he’s at full health.

Next: Week 11 AFC Power Rankings

So there you have it. At least one of these five players will take on a larger role for the Patriots now that Lewis and Edelman are both sidelined.