Have we seen the last of Malcolm Mitchell in a Patriots uniform? Head Coach Bill Belichick was asked his morning if he expects Mitchell to return this postseason, and in typical Bill Belichick fashion in which he gives you all the information you need, he said “I don’t know.”
Mitchell has missed all of the 2017 season with a knee injury he suffered in the second preseason game and missed practice Tuesday and Wednesday but was present today. As a matter of fact the Patriots had 100% participation at practice today, something they haven’t accomplished since September 29th. Now that Mitchell has practiced and has been designated to come off the IR, is there a chance he’ll play Saturday in the Divisional round against Tennessee? To quote the great Bill Belichick from earlier, “I don’t know.”
(Photo courtesy: Nancy Lane, Boston Herald)
The Patriots have played relatively well this season without Mitchell and without Edelman, but adding that extra deep threat could really open up the underneath game to Danny Amendola. And let’s not forget how this affects Rob Gronkowski too. Now that you have to watch out for Mitchell AND Brandin Cooks deep, you leave Gronk in some favorable match ups especially if the defense goes into a zone coverage and we know how well that works when you let Brady throw in a zone defense.
BUT, if Mitchell doesn’t play this Saturday, could it be that they might want to save him for the AFC Championship game if they reach it for an unprecedented seventh consecutive year? Now that DeMarco Murray is out for the Titans, that offense has really taken a hit, and seeing how they are extremely inexperienced, do you really need Mitchell in this game? Granted the Titans did have an unbelievable comeback against the Chiefs so you cannot take them lightly, but I don’t think Mitchell is particularly needed in this game.
SO if the Patriots don’t end up using Mitchell for the postseason, is his tenure in Foxboro over? Could the Patriots move him to perhaps bolster a deficiency? There has be virtually no talk that the Patriots do intend on moving Mitchell who has 2 years left on his deal, but if you keep Mitchell, what do you do with Phillip Dorsett? Dorsett also has 2 years left on his deal and has rarely seen the ball. My take, keep Mitchell and deal Dorsett.
Written By: Brian Berard, (@RockyBerard)