Hogan could take on a larger role in a New England receiving corps that lost Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks in the offseason, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. The offseason moves should lock Hogan into a starting job, freeing up a potential logjam at wide receiver with Julian Edelman (knee) expected to return from the torn ACL that cost him all of 2017. Hogan had his own health woes last season, missing seven games with a shoulder injury and catching only 34 of 59 targets (57.6 percent) for 439 yards (7.4 yards per target) in the regular season, though he did score seven times in 12 appearances (including playoffs). The 29-year-old has the potential to replace Cooks as Tom Brady's primary deep threat, having averaged 18.4 yards on 55 catches (including playoffs) in 2016, his first season in New England. Hogan obviously isn't a pure burner like Cooks, but he's fast enough to separate from most defensive backs, with the size and strength to make contested catches and shed tacklers.
Hogan hauled in six of eight targets for 128 yards and a touchdown during the Patriots' 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII on Sunday. The speedster's importance went up a notch once Brandin Cooks was lost to a concussion in the first quarter, and he responded by posting a season-high receiving yardage total. Among his noteworthy plays, the fifth-year pass catcher hauled in a 26-yard scoring dart from Tom Brady late in the third quarter that brought the Patriots to within 29-26 at the time. Hogan had played a minimal role in the Patriots' first two postseason games, but Sunday's outburst wasn't exactly surprising considering he'd often been productive when given the opportunity during the regular season. Hogan's shoulder issues limited to just nine games in 2017, but he brought in a respectable 34 of 59 targets for 439 yards and five touchdowns during that span. With Danny Amendola potentially heading into unrestricted free agency, Hogan could find himself playing a prominent role alongside Cooks and the returning Julian Edelman (knee) in what would be a contract season in 2018.
Hogan (shoulder) logged 67 of a possible 81 snaps on offense in Saturday's 35-14 AFC divisional-round win over the Titans. Hogan caught just one of his four targets in his first game back since Dec. 11, but it resulted in a four-yard TD. With no reported setbacks in the contest, Hogan and Brandin Cooks are in line to continue to lead the Patriots wide receivers in terms of playing time next weekend's AFC championship game tilt versus the winner of Sunday's game between the Steelers and Jaguars. They'll be complemented by slot man Danny Amendola, who parlayed his 50 snaps against Tennessee into 11 catches on 13 targets for 112 yards.
Hogan (shoulder) does not carry an injury designation for Saturday's playoff game against the Titans. Hogan last suited up on Dec. 11, but we suspect that the Patriots chose to err on the side of caution down the stretch, with an eye toward having the wideout as healthy as possible for the team's playoff run. His complete removal from the team's injury report signals that Hogan's shoulder is in good shape in advance of Saturday's contest. Prior to sustaining his injury, Hogan and Brandin Cooks consistently led Patriots wide receivers in terms of playing time, and we'd expect that arrangement to be restored this weekend.
Hogan (shoulder) was limited in practice Tuesday. Hogan made just one appearance over the Patriots' final eight games due to a dislocated right shoulder, and it included a one-yard catch on his five targets in a Week 14 loss at Miami. A limitation remains on his practice reps, indicating his health is compromised more than two months after the injury. Until Hogan takes the field again for an actual game, Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola and Dion Lewis will be better bets to hook up with Tom Brady in the passing attack.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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