Julian Edelman has been one of the New England Patriots' most consistent offensive performers in recent years. It's uncertain if the team will have him to start the regular season, however, as he continues to recover from a leg injury.
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Edelman Reportedly Healthy Enough to Play
Wednesday, Aug. 26
Mike Giardi of Comcast SportsNet New England reported Edelman is ready to play in the team's regular-season opener:
Through sources, my understanding is that Edelman could have played in either of the last two preseason games had they actually mattered, but the Pats are taking a cautious approach with their best receiver and punt returner. So one would assume then, that Edelman will be a go when Week 1 rolls around.
Edelman returned to practice Tuesday, per Kevin Duffy of MassLive.com, and after practice, the wideout spoke about his injury, though he remained unsure if he would be available for the team's opening game, per Joe McDonald of ESPN.com:
Ask [head coach] Bill [Belichick]. I'm taking it day by day and I think I'm 10 seconds better than the last 10 seconds, so we're good. ... Any time you're not able to go out there and play it's difficult, but it's part of the game. I'm just working hard, doing everything I can each and every day to improve myself each and every day.
Edelman led the Patriots in receptions (92) and targets (135) in the regular season, finishing with 972 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He also returned 25 punts, averaging 12 yards per return and scoring a touchdown. He came up big for the Patriots in the postseason as well, nabbing 26 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns.
Starting the season without Edelman would be brutal for the Patriots, who could also be without starting quarterback Tom Brady (possible suspension) and receiver Brandon LaFell (injury). Edelman has become a staple of the team's offense, using his quickness and precise route running to get open over the middle or on quick outs.
He's become a trustworthy, reliable target in the passing game, and with the possibility the Pats could be starting the year without several crucial components in the passing game, his current injury status is a concern.