New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola is almost certain to miss Thursday night's game against the New York Jets because of a groin injury, although it is too early to rule him out, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder. Amendola and running back Shane Vereen (wrist) were not spotted at the Patriots' walk-through Tuesday morning. Later in the day, Vereen, who rushed for 101 yards against the Buffalo Bills in a 23-21 Week 1 victory, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a designation to return. Amendola turned in a 10-catch, 104-yard performance despite the injury. He had left Sunday's opener at the end of the second quarter but returned in the third. When asked after the game about his availability for Thursday's home opener, Amendola said, "I just feel good about the win; that's all that really matters to me. We'll figure everything else out later." Amendola has been managing a groin injury since the Patriots' Aug. 16 preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "We've got a lot of good players in the locker room, so when people are injured, that's why you have a deep roster, guys that are -- you have confidence in, you've gained trust in, and I certainly have that at the skill positions," quarterback Tom Brady said Tuesday. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just a few years ago, the Jets-Patriots rivalry was the most compelling in the NFL, the intensity going off the charts when Antonio Cromartie told the Daily News he hated Tom Brady and called him an “ass----” before the Jets beat them in a 2010 divisional round playoff game. The victory in Foxborough is easily the best moment of Rex Ryan’s career with the Jets, just as last year’s Thanksgiving Night Massacre loss to New England, featuring the hilarious Butt Fumble, was his worst. The Jets gave up three TDs in a 52-second span in the second quarter on their way to a 49-19 loss that ruined a lot of holiday dinners. So, is it still a rivalry now that the Patriots are 26-7 since that playoff game and the Jets are... 15-18? Bill Belichick will always hate the Jets. The Jets have been Patriots wannabes for the last 10 years. Even if the Patriots have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations at the same time Jets aspirations probably run no greater than making sure the Patriots don’t use their locker room during Super Bowl week, it’s New York vs. Boston, so it will always be on another level. On a short week with a rookie quarterback, the Jets will be in Foxborough on Thursday night in an early attempt to make a statement to the NFL that they don’t stink. The one-point victory over an undisciplined and inept Bucs team in Sunday’s opener only proved that the Jets can beat another bad team. But if they go up to New England and come back 2-0 and Geno Smith doesn’t allow Belichick to take him to school, it completely changes the complexion of the season. What would it mean for Ryan’s program if the Jets win this game? “I just hope we get to find out,” he said. The Jets have lost four straight to the Patriots, and the last two games at MetLife Stadium have prompted nasty verbal confrontations between the Jets and their fans. Two years ago, Ryan was fined $75,000 by the NFL for telling a fan to “Shut the f---up,” after the fan yelled at him at halftime, “Hey Rex, Belichick is better than you.” Then last year, as the Jets walked toward their locker room trailing 35-3 at the half, they were subjected to a verbal barrage from their disgusted fans. Linebacker Bart Scott reacted a few days later by saying, “The person yelling at you probably was picked last in dodgeball all through high school. So do you care about the opinion of them? No.” The Patriots struggled to win in Buffalo on Sunday against rookie quarterback EJ Manuel, needing a field goal with 35 seconds left to beat the Bills, 23-21. Buffalo is also expected to be one of the worst teams in the league this season, so that would seem to indicate the Patriots might be vulnerable early in the season. “I would not say that,” Ryan said. Since Brady took over as the Patriots starting quarterback in the third week of the 2001 season, New England has won the AFC East 10 out of 12 years. The Pats missed in 2002, one year after their first Super Bowl victory, and in 2008, when Brady tore his ACL in the first quarter of the first game. All five of Brady’s top receivers from 2012 were absent in Buffalo. They accounted for 338 of Brady’s 401 completions last season, which is 84.3%. Wes Welker (118 catches) signed with Denver; Brandon Lloyd (74) was released after one year of a three-year contract; Rob Gronkowski (55) is recovering from arm and back surgery; Aaron Hernandez was released and is in prison; Danny Woodhead (40) signed with San Diego. Free agent pickup Danny Amendola, who is Welker-Lite, has developed instant chemistry with Brady. He was targeted 14 times in Buffalo and had 10 catches for 104 yards. Julian Edelman was targeted nine times and had seven catches for 79 yards and a TD. But Brady was just 29-of-52 (55.8%) and had a pedestrian QB rating of 76.4. Even with all the changes, Ryan said, “It’s New England. It starts with Brady.” Belichick was asked if the rivalry remains special even though the Jets have struggled the last couple of years. “I think the Jets are a good football team. We’ve always played very competitively with them. I have a lot of respect for Rex, his coaching staff, their players,” he said. “Yeah, absolutely. It’s a division game, so it’s always tough.” Cromartie won’t be calling Brady any names this week, the Butt Fumble was a once-in-a-lifetime comedy routine, one team is real good and the other is not, but the Jets-Patriots rivalry is not dead quite yet.