FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — For the first time since the 2013 season, Josh Gordon has been on the field for more than five consecutive games.
The electric receiver was inactive for his first game with the Patriots, a Week 3 loss to Detroit, but has since been a regular in the lineup.
Speaking at his locker Friday, Gordon credited his teammates for helping him keep focus.
“I watch how they do it,” Gordon said. “This is a bunch of professional guys who are leaders of men, and I’m just going to follow suit. They’re making it real easy for me to come in and do my job.”
A member of the Cleveland Browns to begin his NFL career, Gordon gets to experience the feeling of a playoff chase for the first time.
“It’s different, that’s for sure,” Gordon said. “It’s exciting, though. It’s motivational for me, for everybody. I’ve never really had the opportunity before, considering the circumstances, so it’s great to have the opportunity now. It’s a blessing. I’m looking forward to it. It’s awesome.”
Gordon said he feels “great” following the bye week.
“I feel better,” said Gordon, who was limited by a hamstring injury when he was first acquired by the Pats. “I think it was a pivotal point in the season, over halfway through. I think most of the guys will benefit from it. Hopefully, we can show that (today).”
Gordon’s most recent outing was an up-and-down performance at Tennessee. He beat coverage deep down the middle of the field for a 44-yard gain on the game’s first third down, but was otherwise inconsistent. Gordon caught 4-of-12 passes thrown his way against the Titans.
“I think there’s a lot more room to expand upon and potential to be reached,” Gordon said. “It just goes to how much room I put in. Let it manifest itself on the field. The most I can do is just stay consistent in my work ethic and the rest will just work itself out eventually.”
TE Allen out
The Patriots ruled out tight end Dwayne Allen (knee) for today’s game against the Jets.
Allen, who filled in as the starter while Rob Gronkowski was sidelined the past two games, did not practice this week.
The Patriots list five players as questionable: Gronkowski (ankle/back), quarterback Tom Brady (knee/illness), running back Sony Michel (knee), guard Shaq Mason (calf), and safety Nate Ebner (knee).
Brady did not practice Friday, but the knee issue isn’t expected to keep him out. Gronkowski said he’s “good to go.”
Mason, who also missed the past two games, said earlier in the week that he’s ready to play “whenever the trainers turn (him) loose.”
Each year, the Patriots try to buy low on veterans who are miscast on other teams.
Sometimes they snag a valuable player. Other times, the acquisition doesn’t work out and the Pats move on.
File the Jason McCourty addition under the first category.
At Friday’s press conference, Bill Belichick praised McCourty for his versatility and willingness to play multiple spots.
“He really has moved around probably more than any other player in the secondary over the 10 games we’ve played,” Belichick said. “But even at corner, he’s played inside. He’s played outside, unlike really any other player we have. He played safety. He’s a smart guy. He’s a versatile player. He’s shown a lot of versatility considering he missed the spring, but from training camp on he’s done a lot of good things for us.”
McCourty’s ability to bump inside has allowed the Pats to deploy rookie J.C. Jackson opposite Stephon Gilmore in certain three-cornerback looks.
According to Belichick, McCourty didn’t have much experience covering the slot prior to this year.
The ability to adapt must run in the family.
Belichick reflected on Devin McCourty’s transition from cornerback to safety in the 2012 season.
“Devin’s as all in on the team as you could be,” Belichick said. “Whatever we’ve ever asked him to do — return kicks, cover kicks, corner, safety, play up, play deep, never batted an eye. Has just gone in there and done the best he could. You’d love to coach 53 guys like that.”