Danny Amendola: ‘It was good to get back out there’
|10.06.13 at 10:19 pm ET|
CINCINNATI — It was not the return Danny Amendola envisioned but the fact the wide receiver was able to get through his first complete game with the Patriots in rainy weather on a slippery track is a good sign. He may not be at full strength but Sunday was an indication that he is certainly on his way.
Amendola didn’t start the game but he did enter on third down of the game’s first drive. He wasn’t targeted until the second quarter but wound up finishing with four catches on nine targets for 55 yards. All of this after missing the last three games with a groin injury.
“It was good to get back out there,” Amendola said. “We didn’t get the job done today, just have to get better.”
Trailing 13-3, the Patriots appeared to have scored a touchdown that would have drawn them within three points and extended Tom Brady’s touchdown streak to 53 games.
Amendola caught a pass from Brady at the Bengals 1 and tried rolling over backwards into the end zone. But Amendola was ruled to have been touched down at the Cincinnati 1 after a touch by Bengals safety Chris Crocker. The Patriots stalled over the course of the next three plays and had to settle for a Stephen Gostkowski 19-yard field goal.
“I caught it. I knew I was close,” Amendola said. “I tried to roll in. I thought I was going to be in but it didn’t roll that way.”
Then, Patriots had two chances in the final three minutes to get the game-tying touchdown. After Gio Bernard fumbled, the Patriots went three-and-out, including an Amendola drop on second down.
“It was just a play I need to make, a big play on the drive, a big play in the fourth quarter. Regardless, I’ve got to get that. Just get it next time.
“They did everything we expected them to do, really. It really came down to making plays. We just need to get better, look at film get better for next week.”
Amendola said he can’t wait to get back on the field with Brady next week at home against New Orleans.
“It’s the second game I’ve played with him,” Amendola said. “I’m really looking forward to playing with him next week.”
The rain in Cincinnati provided a good test for Amendola before the game when he sprinted out onto the field just after 11 a.m. after being cleared to play.
“It was just something that was day-to-day all week and just felt good enough to play. I felt good to get back out there. It felt like I could run like I wanted to and move around. Just obviously didn’t end up like we wanted to but have to get back to work.”
Then, late in the fourth quarter, torrential rains returned and Amendola felt confident that his groin would not be compromised.
“It was raining but that’s something we practice,” Amendola said. “We anticipate playing in the rain. We just need to get better. It’s not something I wanted to think about during the game. I was full-go. Weather was weather. You can’t control that. I feel good right now. I felt like I could play better.”
Amendola was not alone in that regard Sunday.