Danny Amendola ruled out Sunday against Broncos

By Jesse Reed
Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola (80) hits Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Jamell Fleming (30) on a punt during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Amendola was called for a personal foul on the play. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots will be without star wide receiver Danny Amendola Sunday when they take on the Denver Broncos.

Amendola did not practice all week as he recovers from an ankle injury, and the injury report Friday is the final word that he won’t be able to play.

This is not good news, both for the Patriots and for those counting on Amendola in their playoff fantasy football lineups. The Patriots, and more specifically Tom Brady, notoriously struggle in Denver as it is.

Rob Gronkowski is already out for the year, and now Amendola will not be available, meaning the “next man up” phrase that is so prevalent in the NFL is of extreme importance for New England in this upcoming game.

Look for Malcolm Mitchell to play a big role as the primary outside receiver. This development also boosts the value of tight end Martellus Bennett, who has had an up and down season but who is definitely capable of putting up big numbers working the middle of the field against Denver’s defense.

One final note here is that Amendola’s injury will also mean LeGarrette Blount should continue to see a heavy workload. He’s been the catalyst lately for New England’s success on offense and will need to do so once again in Denver Sunday if the Patriots have a chance to win.