June 12, 2024

Patriots

Malik Cunningham has a uncommon alternative to play quarterback and receiver within the NFL.

New England Patriots quarterback Malik Cunningham (16) dashes toward the end zone for a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass.
Malik Cunningham led the Patriots on a 14-play landing drive. AP Photograph/Michael Dwyer
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Based on ESPN’s Mike Reiss, there was just one NFL participant to play double-digit snaps at quarterback and broad receiver in the identical recreation final season.

New Orleans’s Taysom Hill carried the ball 10 instances for 61 yards, caught a go, and accomplished his solely passing try of the day when the Saints beat the Raiders final yr.

And, there’s a participant on the Patriots roster who Reiss says might find yourself having the same position for New England.

The Patriots have been figuring out Malik Cunningham, who performed quarterback at Louisville, principally at receiver. He’s additionally hung out on particular groups as a gunner, utilizing his velocity to chase down returners.

However, it was Cunningham’s efficiency at quarterback in New England’s preseason-opening loss to the Texans that acquired the hype prepare rolling for him.

“Cunningham has generated early momentum to be a Hill-type choice for the Patriots, even working as a gunner on the punt protection staff,” Reiss wrote.

After the Patriots struggled to maneuver the ball with any form of consistency, Cunningham went 3-of-4 and scored New England’s solely landing of the sport on a 9-yard keeper for a landing.

Cunningham is “electrical” with the soccer in his palms, Patriots receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster stated after apply final week. Particular groups ace Matthew Slater says he respects Cunnigham for his work ethic as a result of he’s a quarterback who’s keen to take reps on particular groups.

Cunningham brings “one other component” to the offense, receiver Kendrick Bourne stated.

“He can flip a foul play into a house run and a particular play faster than simply about anybody I’ve seen, particularly on the quarterback place,” Louisville offensive coordinator Lance Taylor advised Reiss in Might. “He’s so distinctive together with his ability set.”

The power to play quarterback and receiver within the NFL is a uncommon one. Based on Reiss, solely three gamers together with Hill have performed 50 snaps at each positions in a season over the previous 15 years.