Patriots receiver Danny Amendola used to playing in Wes Welker’s shadow

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FOXBOROUGH — Any expectation of replacing a hard-to-replace slot receiver such as Wes Welker is inevitable, understandable, and perhaps borderline unfair to Danny Amendola.

Good thing he’s been down this road before. Amendola was in the exact same spot nine years ago, when he was a freshman at Texas Tech. Welker had been an all-Big 12 performer for the Red Raiders, leading them to an 8-5 record in 2003 as a senior. Amendola — with roughly the same size and skill set — arrived on campus the next season, Welker’s heir apparent as a receiver/punt returner.

So the questions Amendola has fielded in 2013 — initially after he signed a five-year deal with the Patriots in March, and then again this week, with Welker and the Denver Broncos coming to town for Sunday night’s game — were the same questions thrown his way in Lubbock, Texas, nearly a decade ago.

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