The Patriots will not have Rob Gronkowski or Martellus Bennett to play tight end Monday night against the Dolphins. Which means that Dwayne Allen will have the opportunity to become the team's best choice.
But Allen has only five receptions for 40 yards in 12 games this season. And his first reception did not happen until Week 10.
Coach Bill Belichick still has faith in Allen.
"Dwayne works hard," Belichick told reporters on Wednesday. "He does what we ask him to do, he works very hard on that, whatever his role is, his role in the Tampa game was different from the previous role or whatever it turns out, sometimes we are in more sets of three receivers, Sometimes it's a set of two receivers, sometimes it's a fullback, sometimes it's a fullback and two wings closed, sometimes it's two tight wings, it's ready to go and always ready and always works hard at its job, it's about We all make mistakes, we all correct them and try to make them better next time. "He has accepted that."
The question is whether the game plan for Monday night will include Allen's predetermined role as the tight end No. 1.