Jakobi Meyers elevated his game this season with the New England Patriots. They face the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, but is Meyers playing despite a thigh injury?
Update 01/15/22: The Patriots announced that Jakobi Meyers is active and will play against the Bills. For the rest of the Patriots’ inactives, make sure to check out our Wild Card Round Inactives.
Is Jakobi Meyers playing tonight vs. the Bills?
Meyers has been dealing with a thigh injury for several weeks now and is listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest. New England listed him as questionable in Week 17 and 18, but he played through the injury.
Meyers hit over 70 yards receiving in both of those games individually, so if I were a betting man, I’d say he will play in the playoffs. We will await that decision on game day.
How has Meyers performed so far this season?
Meyers’ role on the Patriots has developed further each season since he signed as a free agent in 2019. As a rookie, Meyers caught 26 passes for 359 yards.
His role grew in Year 2, as he managed 78 targets and 59 receptions for 729 yards. But this season, Meyers found the end zone for the first time. He caught his first touchdown pass from Mac Jones against the Cleveland Browns in Week 10, and his teammates went crazy for him.
It was a testament to who Meyers is as a teammate and how hard he’s worked to build a role for himself on the Patriots.
Meyers finished this year with 83 catches for 866 yards and 2 TDs. He led the team in yards and was influential as a reliable pass catcher for his rookie QB. Meyers had his most successful production between the numbers on short passes, recording 29 receptions and only 1 drop.
What if Meyers can’t go?
I can’t see a situation where Meyers doesn’t play in tonight’s game, considering the fact that he has played through the injury for multiple weeks. However, if he’s not able to play, the Patriots will need to look elsewhere for those catches.
Kendrick Bourne was also key for New England this season, with 800 yards and 5 touchdowns of his own. Bourne was more of a chunk-yardage receiver, averaging 14.5 yards per catch compared to Meyers’ 10.4. Meyers was the volume receiver with 83 receptions, the most on the team by almost 30, followed by Bourne (55).
If the Patriots want to beat the Bills on Saturday, they will need some of these receivers to step up. While the sides split the regular-season series 1-1, the game the Patriots won featured their QB attempting just 3 passes. Jones only had 145 yards in the next contest, throwing 2 interceptions.
The Patriots are going to be extremely hopeful that Meyers can play tonight. They don’t have one of the deepest receiving groups in the league even when he is healthy, and they face one of the NFL’s best defenses in the Wild Card round.