Exciting Patriots' rookie seems to have locked up roster spot

Demario Douglas only on the field for three plays in preseason opener where "starters" did not play
Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Demario Douglas (60) runs
Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Demario Douglas (60) runs / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

If you're a New England Patriots fan, and were looking to get their first glimpse of Demario Douglas in game action in Thursday night's preseason opener against the Houston Texans, you were probably disappointed.

Typically, head coach Bill Belichick usually gives all the rookies a chance to play in the preseason so he can see them in game action; however, Douglas was only on the field for a total of three plays. He took two offensive snaps, and fair caught a punt on special teams.

While the starters were not expected to play, as is customary with most preseason games under Belichick, CBS.com still listed Douglas as a player to watch in the preseason home opener.

Douglas's ability to standout began a long time ago

Douglas has been a standout in camp and was even listed as an under-the-radar player to keep an eye on by Musket Fire's Sara Marshall.

Douglas has repeatedly been taking reps with the first team and Mac Jones throughout camp. He is, in fact, the only first year player to be doing so despite the Patriots also drafting wide receiver Kayson Boutte, and signing undrafted free agent Malik Cunningham, the latter of which they hope to either turn into a wide receiver or, at the very least, a versatile piece on the roster.

Douglas's ability to standout during training camp through his ability to run after the catch, and make players miss is what he brings to the table over some other players. I mean, just watch his college highlights and you'll see just how dangerous he can be.

Douglas figures to be a Julian Edelman-type for the Patriots moving forward where he can act as a slot receiver, taking run-pass option style handoffs, or he can even go past the first down stakes and pick up a first down or more.

This is something that New England has lacked since Edelman's retirement back in 2021. Given Douglas's emergence, however, watch for the Patriots to be extra cautious moving forward, especially if he has made an indelible mark on Belichick.

New England plays its second preseason game next Thursday at Lambeau Field, where they take on the Green Bay Packers - it remains to be seen if Douglas gets some action in that one.