The Patriots officially listed Danny Amendola as doubtful for Thursday night’s game against the Jets, an expected move after the receiver aggravated a groin injury Sunday against the Bills, though he did play, and excel, in the second half.
Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) is also listed as doubtful. He has been taking part in practices for more than a week, though on a limited basis.
New England already has been hit by the injury bug. Shane Vereen was placed on short-term injured reserve on Tuesday after the running back underwent surgery to fix a broken bone in his wrist, and the injury list got longer on Wednesday.
The Patriots added special teams ace Matthew Slater with a knee injury, and he is one of eight players listed as questionable, joining Brandon Bolden (knee), Aaron Dobson (hamstring), Nate Ebner (ankle), Duron Harmon (hamstring), Zach Sudfeld (hamstring), Will Svitek (knee), and Leon Washington (thigh).
Bolden, Dobson, Ebner, Harmon, Svitek, and Washington did not play in Buffalo.
Marquice Cole (hamstring), Alfonzo Dennard (ankle), and Stevan Ridley (shoulder) are probable; all three were added to the report on Tuesday.
The Jets’ injury report is even longer, with 21 players listed.
Three are out: defensive lineman Quinton Coples (ankle), receiver Jeremy Kerley (concussion), and quarterback Mark Sanchez (right shoulder).
The other 18 players, including quarterback Geno Smith (ankle) and cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie (hip) and Dee Milliner (hip), are probable.
Surgery for Sanchez?
According to a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Sanchez is “likely to have surgery” and will miss the rest of the season. The report, citing team and league sources, said Dr. James Andrews confirmed that Sanchez has a labral tear in his right shoulder.
Sanchez, who traveled to Florida Wednesday to meet with Andrews to get a second opinion, is expected to make a decision on surgery within the next two days. He was hurt Aug. 25 in an exhibition game.
Lloyd says no
Already thin at wide receiver and short on experience, the Patriots contacted Brandon Lloyd, ProFootballTalk.com reported.
Lloyd, 32, who was also contacted by the Jets and 49ers, among others, “rejected all overtures,’’ saying he “has no interest in playing, taking the position that he’s neither physically nor mentally ready to continue.”
Lloyd had 74 receptions for 911 yards and four touchdowns for the Patriots last season, but he was waived in the offseason. Lloyd’s release cleared $4.9 million off the team’s cap.
Smith’s stats in his first NFL start, against the Buccaneers on Sunday, weren’t knock-your-socks-off impressive — he completed 24 of 38 passes for 256 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, and also rushed for 47 yards — but he was also sacked five times and hit on eight other occasions.
But Smith never appeared rattled, which the Patriots’ Kyle Arrington noticed this week on film.
“Poise, he doesn’t looks like a rookie,” Arrington said. “He ran the offense pretty well. They do multiple formations, Wildcat, spread the ball, run empty [backfield], and they’re effective doing it, so we’ll need to get as many people around the ball as we can.”
The Patriots are the first team since 1950 to open the season facing rookie quarterbacks in each of the first two weeks. But while the Bills’ E.J. Manuel and Smith are both mobile, Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo sees differences between the AFC East newbies.
“You see some [similarities], but at the same time [Smith] is a different player — great legs, can run, can make a lot of plays with his feet, but he can also throw on the run,” Mayo said. “Strong arm, he can make all the throws, good decision-making. He’ll do a lot of different things.”
Jets coach Rex Ryan once told his players that he was going to punch Bill Belichick in the face at midfield, LaDainian Tomlinson revealed on NFL Network Tuesday night.
Tomlinson spent his final two seasons (2010-11) with the Jets, and was asked what was the craziest thing Ryan said to the team as a motivational tactic.
“We were playing the Patriots one time . . . Rex is a master motivator, and it was going to be a big game, a heated-rivalry game,” Tomlinson said. “Rex got in front of us and he said, ‘I’m going to set the tempo today, I’m going to set the tempo. When I meet Bill Belichick in the center of the field I’m going to start it off and punch him in the face.’
“We loved that, I loved that from Rex.”
Tomlinson was laughing as he told the story, and Ryan was, of course, joking about punching Belichick.
Tomlinson said the Jets won the game, though he didn’t provide details. But the Jets didn’t beat the Patriots in 2011, so it was either Week 2 in 2010 or the divisional-round playoff game that season.
Let’s be clear
A reminder of the new bag policy for those attending Thursday’s game: Fans must put their belongings in either a plastic gallon-sized freezer bag or in a clear bag no bigger than 12 x 12 x 6 inches. Handheld, opaque clutch-type purses are allowed, but they must be no larger than 7 x 4 x 2 inches. The Patriots will be distributing freezer bags in the parking lots for those who may require one, and also sell clear bags and backpacks at the pro shop. For more information, visit nfl.com/allclear . . . The Patriots were awarded defensive tackle Chris Jones off waivers. Jones, a 6-foot-2-inch, 306 pounder from Bowling Green, was a sixth-round pick of the Texans in April but he was cut during camp. The Buccaneers claimed Jones, but released him Tuesday. To make room, the Patriots waived offensive lineman Josh Kline.