Ripple Effects of Julian Edelman's Injury on New England Patriots' Offense

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IJanuary 20, 2017

Nov 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) is helped off the field after an injury against the New York Jets during the second half on Thanksgiving at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Time for the New England Patriots to make more adjustments due to injury. 

Wideout Julian Edelman, who doubles as the team's primary punt returner, suffered a broken foot against the Miami Dolphins and has been placed on IR, according to CBS Boston.

It's not as if Tom Brady's crew isn't capable of dealing with another injury, but the loss of Edelman will have some ripple effects on the Patriots team as a whole. 

In conjunction with the Edelman-to-IR news came a report confirmed by ESPN's Adam Schefter that New England was re-signing receiver Donte Stallworth.

There's no telling how much the 32-year-old veteran will be able to contribute, but his familiarity with the Patriots system is likely the reason he was brought back. 

Now, instead of Edelman out of the slot, a likely rusty Stallworth will fill his shoes. 

That won't drastically impede the league's highest-scoring offense, but it definitely won't help it either. 

Furthermore, expect Wes Welker to take on full punt returning duties, something that could affect how fresh he is on offense. 

Welker is seemingly in impeccable shape, but running back punts and taking an additional five to 10 hits a game could take their toll. 

Welker and Aaron Hernandez will remain the focal points of New England's passing attack, but the loss of Edelman coupled with an unavailable Rob Gronkowski could slightly hinder the Patriots offense with upcoming games against the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers.