Tom Brady, in his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan, mentioned wide receiver Keshawn Martin as a potential fill-in but not Aaron Dobson. “Keshawn Martin is still obviously a good player for us and is hopefully coming back here soon,” Brady said. “And I’ve got a lot of confidence in Brandon LaFell. (Danny Amendola)’s role has been very different than Julian’s was for us. I just think they’re a little different type of players. And certainly Julian has been incredible for us. Incredible.”
Martin, if healthy, could even overtake Danny Amendola in certain two-receiver sets. Amendola does the majority of his work out of the slot, while Edelman splits his time lining up inside and in the “Z” role, which is out wide and off the line so he can go in motion.
Martin is the Patriots’ most athletic receiver, based on combine testing numbers. He ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash with a 6.85-second 3-cone, 4.13-second short shuttle, 39.5-inch vertical leap and 10-foot, 2-inch broad jump. He fell out of favor with the Texans but appeared to catch on quickly before going down with the injury.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said no single receiver can replace what Edelman offered to the Patriots, but they likely will rely on Martin and Amendola most heavily. The trade used to acquire Martin is looking smart with Edelman likely out until the playoffs.
Martin has caught six-of-seven targets for 95 yards and a touchdown, but has been dealing with a hamstring injury for the past few games. He has been practicing on a limited basis but hasn't been active on game day. Owners in deeper leagues may want to consider Martin if Amendola is not available. We still believe Amendola sees a good chunk of Julian Edelman's targets, but Martin may surprise.