Julian Edelman Says He Will 'Come Back Stronger Than Ever' from Knee Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2017

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots runs for yards after a first quarter catch while playing the Detroit Lions during a preseason game at Ford Field on August 25, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman said he plans to return "stronger than ever" after suffering a knee injury that will force him to miss the entire 2017 NFL season.     

On Tuesday, the 31-year-old playmaker posted a message on social media about his recovery from a torn ACL, which he suffered in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Friday at Ford Field.

"This has been an extremely trying week," Edelman wrote. "That being said, the amount of support I have received since Friday night is truly humbling. I will approach this rehab process the only way I know how, with everything I have, to make sure I come back stronger than ever.

"Thank you to everyone for your unwavering love and support. Tough times don't last, tough people do."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady acknowledged the loss of Edelman was tough during an appearance on WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday (via Stephen Hewitt of the Boston Herald). He said the offense will need to change things up a bit to find its usual high-end success.

"It's a tough loss," Brady said. "He's taken so many hits, and he kind of gets up and shakes them off, and I think everyone kind of thought that's what happened, and everyone figured out the extent of the injury later on. It's just tough, tough for all of us. He's a great player, great teammate, great friend. He really plays with a chip on his shoulder, and I thought he brought that attitude to the whole offense and whole team."

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He added: "We're going to have to find another way, so we have practice today, and it'll be the first day on the field without him in a long time, and we're going to have to figure out a different way to get the job done."

Nik DeCosta-Klipa of Boston.com noted New England head coach Bill Belichick provided a similar outlook in regard to filling the void.

"I don't know if there's a book on this you follow," he said. "You look at the situation, you look at the options, and you try to choose the one that you feel is the best or a combination of ones you feel is best for the team."

Edelman's absence does put a lot more pressure on dominant but injury-prone tight end Rob Gronkowski to stay healthy. The Pats will need him to create matchup problems in the middle of the field with their usual slot receiver sidelined.

Meanwhile, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell all figure to see some extra targets working opposite or alongside Brandin Cooks in the passing game.