FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Phillip Dorsett worked all summer to take advantage of his early season opportunity.

For the most part, he did.

Through five games, Dorsett led Patriots wide receivers with 19 catches. He showed considerable progress on the short, quick-hitting routes that the Patriots offense so often utilizes.

But he was aware that he’d probably take a backseat by midseason.

“I knew once (Julian Edelman) came back and we traded for Josh (Gordon), I knew things would change a little bit,” Dorsett said. “I just kept my mind right, knowing that I get to wake up every day and I’m living my dream. I’m playing football in the NFL. I just had a good mindset.”

Well, Gordon is suspended indefinitely. Chris Hogan has been a non-factor for most of the year. Cordarrelle Patterson, as dynamic as anyone with the ball in his hands, is dealing with a knee injury.

The opportunity is once again there for Dorsett, who averaged 8.6 snaps per game from Weeks 6-15.

Dorsett earned rare praise from Coach Bill Belichick following news of Gordon’s suspension.

Belichick provided standard quotes when discussing Patterson and Hogan, but gushed about Dorsett.

“Phil’s tremendous,” Belichick said. “He’s a tremendous kid, great teammate. I think he has everybody’s total respect in the locker room on everything – his preparation, the way he treats other people, how unselfish he is, how he’s always ready for his role.”

Dorsett, in the final year of his rookie contract, said he maintained focus during the season because he’s “a naturally positive person.”

“I look around, and it could be worse,” Dorsett said.

NOW IN HIS third year, left guard Joe Thuney has played all 1,051 of the Patriots’ offensive snaps through their 15 games. He was also close to perfect in his first two seasons.

According to Pro Football Reference, Thuney played 99.64 percent (1,114 snaps) and 99.56 percent (1,134 snaps) of the Patriots offensive plays in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

JULIAN EDELMAN has been fined $63,504 for three separate instances of unnecessary roughness in a victory over Buffalo, only one of which was penalized.

He was fined twice for $26,739 and once for $10,026. The only penalty came when he blocked Buffalo’s Siran Neal after calling for a fair catch on a punt.

SONY MICHEL needs 119 yards rushing to become just the sixth Patriots running back to reach 1,000 under Belichick. He would also become the fourth rookie in franchise history to reach the milestone, joining John Stephens (1988), Curtis Martin (1995) and Robert Edwards (1998).

James White needs seven catches to become the 10th running back in NFL history with 90 or more in a season.

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