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Sunday, October 27, 2013
Pats' Amendola back; Talib out

By Field Yates
ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola was active Sunday and played against the Dolphins after missing last week due to a concussion suffered in Week 6 against the Saints.

Cornerback Aqib Talib (hip), meanwhile, missed his second straight game, leaving the Patriots without their top secondary player.

Amendola, who practiced each day this week on a limited basis, told ESPNBoston.com on Friday, "I've done pretty much everything they've asked me to do. I'm healthy and I'm ready to play."

The 27-year-old has missed four games this season, including three due to a groin injury sustained in Week 1. He has 16 catches for 159 yards in three games played.

With Amendola back in the lineup, the Patriots are as healthy as they've been at the receiver position this season, and Sunday marks the first time he'll be on the field alongside tight end Rob Gronkowski, who returned to action last week.

Talib's absence meant veteran Kyle Arrington once again started opposite second-year cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, with rookie Logan Ryan thrust into a nickel cornerback role. Ryan returned his first career interception for a touchdown in last week's game against the Jets.

Talib has often been utilized to slow down an opponent's top receiver in the early portion of this season, as he catalyzed an effort to shut out Saints tight end Jimmy Graham during a Week 6 matchup.