Rob Gronkowski's season is over. Rookie wide receivers Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) and Aaron Dobson (foot) will be inactive against the Miami Dolphins with a chance to clinch the AFC East hanging in the balance.
So who is going to catch Tom Brady's throws?
It's a question asked often this season for the New England Patriots.
Julian Edelman has been the Patriots' most reliable receiver this season. Running back Shane Vereen will play a key role in the passing game in the "joker" function. The wild card will be receiver Danny Amendola.
"Defenses switch up coverages, double Gronk, double other guys, double Shane," Amendola said this past week per the Boston Herald. "It's just a matter of getting open and making plays."
The slot receiver continues to deal with a groin injury that has siphoned his explosion. He missed four games and has just two 100-plus yard games this season after being signed to replace Wes Welker.
The loss of the two rookie receivers looms large this week. Brady has been frustrated with each of the youngsters this season, but the two add a dynamic playmaking element to the passing game.
We've seen Brady perform at the highest level with nondescript receiving corps for years. However, missing so many essential targets this week will put more pressure on Tom Terrific to be on target in Miami. (He should also pray Amendola's groin injury doesn't flare up.)
One thing is certain: The Dolphins couldn't ask for a much better scenario to knock off the Pats.