FOXBORO -- It's been a revolving door at the wide receiver position for the New England Patriots through the first seven weeks of the season.

The obvious example is Antonio Brown's brief tenure in New England. The Patriots took a chance on the troubled wideout by signing him to a one-year deal in early September, then released him shortly after their Week 2 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

Then there are the injuries to Phillip Dorsett and Josh Gordon, which have opened the door for rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olsewzki to contribute some weeks.

And of course, there's the latest acquisition of ex-Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu and the subsequent placement of Gordon on injured reserve, possibly ending the 28-year-old's Patriots career.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked Friday about how difficult the turnover at the wide receiver position has been this year.

"It'd always be ideal to have everybody available all the time and use the same people every week of the season," Belichick said. "That's just not the way it is in the National Football League or anywhere else. You control what you can control, and what you can't control you try to work around and do the best you can with it.

"Sometimes that's a different position, sometimes it's the same position. Sometimes it's not that much, sometimes it's a lot. There's other teams in the league that deal with injuries just like we are, just like everybody else is. There are other things to deal with besides injuries but that's just -- it's the National Football League. It's a long season, it's a tough game."


The Patriots' wide receiver situation only will get more interesting once 2019 first-round draft pick N'Keal Harry returns from IR. The rookie has been practicing with the team and will be eligible to play in Week 9 when they visit the Baltimore Ravens.

As for whether Harry's pending return had anything to do with the decision to place Gordon on IR, Belichick didn't offer a clear yes or no. He did, however, remind us once again that this is the National Football League, and there's a limit to how many receivers they can keep on board.

"Well I mean, look, we're not going to carry 10 receivers on the team so something's got to happen," Belichick said. "I don't know what. Can't carry that many players at the same position. At some point, numbers have to become a factor. This is the National Football League, this isn't college."

Belichick and the Patriots are set to take on the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and the newly-added Sanu is expected to make his Pats debut.

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