How might Brandin Cooks' addition affect Patriots' playing time at WR?

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With wide Felix Hernandez #34 Youth receiver Brandin Cooks scheduled to answer questions from New England Patriots beat reporters on Tuesday (approximately 11 a.m. ET), it provides a springboard to explore how his presence might affect the team's playing-time distribution at the position. Cooks hasn't missed a game in either of the past two seasons, and if that durability continues in 2017, he should be in the mix to be among the team's playing-time leaders among receivers. In 2015 with the New Orleans Saints, he played 905 of 1,096 offensive snaps (86.6 percent). In 2016, he was on the field for 840 of 1,105 offensive snaps (76.0 percent). All four of those players are back in 2017, and with Cooks coming aboard, something will have to give if everyone is healthy. Taking some of the load off Edelman, who turns 31 on May 22, would make some sense and in theory preserve him to be at his best later in the year. And the initial plan when the Patriots signed Hogan as a restricted free agent likely wasn't to play him on such a high percentage of the offensive snaps, so one can envision his number being scaled back Authentic Jim McMahon Womens Jersey slightly this year. Considering how strongly Mitchell came on late in 2016, and especially in the second half of Super Bowl LI, his on-field presence should remain consistent (if not grow). Meanwhile, Amendola will probably have a similar workload, with the Patriots pacing him for the homestretch and, they hope, into the playoffs, when he is often at his best. The Patriots are a game-plan offense, morphing their attack into something different each week, based on the weakness of their opponent. But it wouldn't be a surprise if the 2017 season opens with them using their top four receivers in a rotation and mixing and matching their combinations liberally. One series, it's Cooks and Edelman. The next it's Hogan and Mitchell. Then Cooks and Hogan, followed by Edelman and Mitchell. Along the way, the clutch Amendola is sprinkled in. The addition of Cooks, no doubt, should have a trickle-down effect on the playing time of others. DETROIT -- The gray probe, looking like a Nintendo Wii controller, is draped around Zach Zenner's neck. He puts the instrument there for maneuverability -- something he has done almost every morning since he started working with ultrasound machines earlier this year. He wants to get this right. He spreads electrode gel on the machine’s tabletop platform and lines up the anesthetized rat he has been studying the past few days. Zenner turns the lights off and the machine on in Room LL362 of the John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He can read the screen better this way. The search begins for the animal’s aortic arch. Sometimes, it takes him 20 minutes to locate the arch. On this day, Zenner finds it on the first try. “Oh yeah,” Zenner said, marveling at his initial perfect alignment. This saves time. It also shows the progress Authentic Jason Verrett Youth Jersey he has made as a volunteer research assistant for Dr. Noreen Rossi since January. Zenner, a running back for the Detroit Lions with a potential future in medicine, is part of Rossi’s team studying the effects of glucose and fructose on hypertension and blood pressure in rats. This is one of thousands of studies conducted by the Veterans Affairs hospitals each year, one Rossi and Zenner hope will provide beneficial information for human diets. The ultrasound is part of Zenner’s daily routine in the basement laboratory, where he derives satisfaction from small victories such as hitting the ultrasound the first time. “Oh, I love it when it works out,” Zenner said through a mask he wears because of the allergies he has to some animals. He eyeballs the lineup, creating a perfect match and a better picture. Then he injects the rat with a drug to raise its blood pressure, expanding the aortic arch. The machine beeps twice. “Oh, you see it?” Zenner asked a visitor one day in March. The machine beeps twice again. The rat's blood pressure returns to normal. It’s a smaller range of expansion. This rat has been more difficult than most. This goes on for about 45 minutes, ultrasounds on the rat's aortic arch and renal artery, watching them expand and contract because of drugs it was given. Earlier in the day, Zenner studied the rat’s reaction to drugs off curves on a computer. The ultrasounds offer visual proof. Some medical students spend a semester learning how to perform ultrasounds. Zenner, because of this research project, picked up the skill in weeks -- something he’ll be able to apply after football when he heads to medical school.

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