All Pro Tight End Rob Gronkowski, he of the infamous spikes and effervescent personality, is recovering from back surgery, as well as several surgeries to remove an infection in his arm after Gronkowski rebroke his forearm during the 2012 playoffs. Needless to say, Gronk (as Patriot fans call him), is far from ready, and the Tight End position is in a state of flux.
Then there's Tim Tebow. Tebow, who was
from the New York Jets in April, was signed by the Patriots a few weeks ago to be the team's third-string quarterback. Tebow was a media circus in New York, and while Belichick clamped down on that in the press conference announcing his arrival to the team, there's sure to be plenty of speculation on whether Tebow could wind up being a Tight End on the team, despite the fact the Patriots already have six on the roster.
Multiple wide receivers were selected during the 2013 draft, in hopes of remaking the WR corp for Brady, 35, to continue performing at an elite level. While Aaron Dobson has shown flashes of brilliance so far, it's been inconsistent. Josh Boyce, a fourth-rounder out of TCU, has yet to see the field because of injuries.
The only positive so far on the offensive side of the ball has been the addition of Danny Amendola, who was signed to replace Welker as a slot receiver. So far, Amendola has reportedly looked great in OTA's and in throwing sessions with Brady, but the chemistry Brady and Welker had was something special. It's going to be incredibly hard to duplicate.
This in no way, shape or form, minimizes the pain, suffering and agony Lloyd's family and those associated with him have had to endure over the past few weeks. These are simply musings of a concerned Patriots fan who is seeing the writing on the wall for the upcoming 2013 season.
Where #PatriotsNation goes from here and for the remainder of the 2013 season is yet to be determined. Training camp isn't even close to being over, and the pre-season is still weeks away.
Whatever happens, though, the Patriots will never be the same.
Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York