Schefter: Mohamed Sanu Played Through an Ankle Injury That Needs Surgery

This news, while no bargain for Mohamed Sanu, is strangely comforting. There could be any number of explanations why he was more or less a non-factor over the second half of the season. And this is by far the most positive one. 

When the Patriots receiving corps was facing a desperate situation at the halfway point of the season, with N'Keal Harry still not dressing and Josh Gordon disappearing into a cloud of the ol' Samwise Ganja, Sanu appeared like a heavenly vision in Week 9 against Baltimore. With a short week of prep, he produced 10 catches on 14 targets and a touchdown.

It would be the last time he saw the endzone all season. After the bye week, he was injured in the Philly game, missed the Dallas game, and the rest of the way his reception totals were: 3, 1, 2, 3 and 3. 

Until now, it was reasonable to worry that lack of production was due to any of the bad reasons that established, talented, veteran wideouts have failed here before. Your Joey Galloways, Doug Gabriels, and the Patron Saint of WR Failure, Chad Ochocinco. Because they couldn't mentally handle the Erhardt-Perkins system of complicated reads, sight adjustments and plays with one-word names instead of standard assignments using route tree numbers. So it's a gigantic relief to hear that Sanu's problem was under his sock, not between his earholes. 

And in the bigger picture, assuming the surgery goes well and there's no series of complications and setbacks like Gronk had a bunch of years ago, the wide receiver position on this team looks a hell of a lot better. Ask any Patriots fan about the depth chart and they'll talk like it qualifies for FEMA help. But give us Sanu at 100%, Julian Edelman, a healthy, young first round talent with tremendous upside in Harry, and the promise that Jakobi Meyers showed, and we're looking at a unit that needs help, not a complete overhaul. 

Obviously adding a top of the roster deep threat like Stefon Diggs would be more than welcome; 

… they're just not desperate for one the way they would be if Sanu was simply another clueless bust to come through here. So instead, they can maybe afford to tweak the wideout position and focus more of their resources at tight end, where the need is much, much greater.

Mohamed Sanu's problems are correctable by surgery, and not by having to eat the second round pick they gave up to get him. An offseason of turmoil just got some genuinely promising news.