Danny Amendola’s first season as a Patriot has been as nondescript as a cinder-block wall. He has blended into the banal, cliché-filled background in Foxborough, another silent cog in Bill Belichick’s estimable football machine.

The team’s second-leading receiver hasn’t made much noise on or off the field. But Amendola, who was signed to a five-year, $31 million contract to replace Wes Welker in the offseason, was supposed to be a standout, not blend in. He was Welker 2.0, a younger, faster, bigger, better version of New England’s former slot receiver nonpareil.

While Welker and the Patriots had a messy divorce, Amendola and the Patriots were billed as a perfect marriage of system and skill set. Who cared if Amendola had never had 700 yards receiving in a season, had played just 16 games once, or entered this season with seven career touchdown receptions in four seasons? The players don’t make the Patriots. The Patriots make the players.

It hasn’t quite worked out that way, which is why Amendola is one of the Patriots players most on the spot Saturday, when the Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC playoffs. His pedestrian Patriot debut season will become a footnote if he shines on a stage he has never taken.