FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots got through the preseason virtually unscathed before receiver Julian Edelman suffered a season-ending knee injury a week before the final exhibition game.

Without one of Tom Brady’s favorite options, Coach Bill Belichick could have filled the roster spot with one of the rookies who impressed the coaching staff in training camp.

Instead he used the setback to go looking for a more experienced asset that could potentially provide help in multiple areas, trading third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett to Indianapolis for receiver Phillip Dorsett – a 2015 first rounder.

While Belichick has shown a willingness to carry three quarterbacks, receiving depth was a greater priority at this point in the season.

“If you want to get something, you have to give up something,” Belichick said of the decision to let go of Brissett.

Dorsett has been in the Patriots’ facility since Sunday. Still, it’s unclear how much – if at all – he’ll factor into the game plan for Thursday night’s opener against Kansas City with so little time to get acclimated to New England’s system.


But Dorsett said Tuesday it hasn’t deterred him from digging into his new playbook.

“It’s been good,” Dorsett said. “I’m just trying to get on the field and get to it. It’s definitely been a transition for me but I’m the person to be able to do something like this.”

He isn’t worried about trying to bite off too much, too soon.

“I don’t really put that much pressure on myself,” he said. “A lot of people do and it doesn’t help, honestly. Some people it does, some people it doesn’t.”

Dorsett improved in his time in the league. He had 18 catches for 225 yards and touchdown as a rookie in 2015. Last season he caught 33 passes for 528 yards and two scores.

Dorsett may be the new guy but there are familiar faces.


He was teammates with running back James White at St. Thomas Aquinas High in Florida when it went undefeated and won the 2008 state championship. He also played with tight end Dwayne Allen, another offseason Patriots acquisition from Indianapolis.

“It’s kind of similar to here,” White said of the Aquinas team. “A lot of guys that worked hard. Worked hard in school. Worked hard on the field. We hung out on and off the field … A close-knit group.”

The good news for New England is it won’t need Dorsett to play a big role in the offense. The receiver group already features Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell.

But it was noteworthy that Mitchell was a limited participant in practice Monday.

There is also an opening on special teams following Cyrus Jones’ knee injury in the preseason finale. Dorsett was used sparingly in college at Miami and by the Colts as both a punt and kick returner.

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