As if the New England Patriots needed more bad luck when it comes to injuries, New England lost another offensive player to injury on the first series against Washington.
Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, who has been having a career season to this point, walked off the field slowly after the Patriots first offensive drive nursing what was quickly announced as a hamstring injury. He was downgraded to out in the second half.
Dorsett has 15 catches on 23 targets for 197 yards and three touchdowns this season and has become a major weapon for Tom Brady in his third year with New England.
What To Do Without Dorsett?
Dorsett’s injury comes at a less-than-ideal time for New England as several offensive players have been ailing as of late, including fellow receivers Julian Edelman (chest) and Josh Gordon (knee). Not to mention receiving back Rex Burkhead (foot) is inactive.
Edelman has already been more involved and seems to be feeling better than he did last week in Buffalo where he was still limited. Gordon doesn’t seem too bothered by his knee injury though he was limited in practice throughout the week.
Without Dorsett, New England began using both tight ends, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo, along with fullback Jakob Johnson in various receiver packages. It has also opened up more routes for Josh Gordon, who Brady had been going to quite a bit in the first half.
Even rookie Gunner Olszewski, more valued for his return abilities, got a chance to line up on offense without Dorsett in the game.
Once New England got more time to make offensive adjustments, they made the obvious choice to go with rookie Jakobi Meyers as the direct replacement for Dorsett.
They also got Sony Michel more involved both running and receiving. Michel, who made just seven catches as a rookie and had only been targeted once on a throwaway through the first four weeks of the year, snared two catches in the first quarter.
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A History With Hamstring Pulls
Phillip Dorsett has been hampered by hamstring pulls in the past. In 2016 while with Indianapolis, Dorsett missed one game with a hamstring injury during October of that season.
It struck worse in the summer of 2017 when Dorsett injured his hamstring during OTAs in June. It lingered throughout training camp into the first week of the preseason, costing Dorsett time in his final month with the Colts before being traded to New England.
With his latest injury, albeit two years ago, being a lingering one, Dorsett may require a little extra time to recover from even the slightest tweak should New England want to get him back as soon as possible.
The Patriots play on Thursday Night Football at home against the New York Giants in Week 6, leaving a small window for all players to recover from even minor injuries. Good news for New England, their Week 7 game is on Monday night meaning New England has over 10 days following their sixth contest to get right.