New England Patriots WR corps takes a hit ahead of Week 6 game

Who fills the void for the missing WR's?

Aug 25, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (7)
Aug 25, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (7) / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

As Friday of game week comes and goes it appears the New England Patriots will be without a few members of their wide receiver corps. On Friday morning both wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster and rookie Demario Douglas were not at practice.

Outside of Smith-Schuster Patriots wideouts DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne have led the group in targets. Losing the other two main receivers for the offense will still be a problem for an already struggling Patriots offense that ranks dead last in points per game. Newly free agent acquisition Smith Schuster is second in total targets for the offense and rookie wideout in Douglas has been arguably the most explosive playmaker for the struggling group. In the early goings of the Week 4 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys, Douglas had a play that made its way to all the highlight reels.

With these absences, the Patriots could elevate some skill position guys off the practice squad to fill roster spots for this weekend. A couple of options could be ex-Philadelphia Eagles first-round pick Jalen Reagor or the undrafted rookie out of Louisville who can play QB/WR in Malik Cunningham. Belichick when speaking to the media on Friday morning spoke glowingly about the improvements of Cunningham and how he could be "trending towards" getting an opportunity to play. Many speculated this could be under center, but possibly it may be as a weapon on the outside.

The other possibility and likely solution for the Patriots with these crucial wideouts to be missing in action for the Patriots week 6 game versus former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels-led Las Vegas Raiders, is to see even more heavy-set personnel from the Patriots. Tight end Hunter Henry has been a focal point for the offense already this season and with a struggling Raiders run defense the Patriots would likely lean on the run game this week.