So here’s some great news on the injury front from ESPN Boston’s Field Yates. The New England Patriots have activated wide receiver Julian Edelman from the active/PUP, and he’s back just in time. Rookie wide receivers Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, and Kenbrell Thompkins have all performed at a high level in training camp, and they’ve all done their part in justifying the release of Donald Jones. It’s easy to be excited about the rookie receivers, and they’ve done an excellent job thus far. Edelman should be the Patriots “Z” receiver in three-wide sets (can’t see them taking Danny Amendola off the field in two-wides), but I think he’ll be getting some competition from Josh Boyce, who is clicking early on. Aaron Dobson looks locked in as the “X”, since he’s the one guy who has that skill-set, while Kenbrell Thompkins is best suited for a role deeper on the depth chart (though it is possible he climbs up).
Edelman is a player who could be in line for a breakout 2013 season, but that all depends on health. That’s always been the caveat with Edelman, and he missed plenty of time last season with a broken hand and a broken foot. The latter injury caused Edelman to hit the injured reserve just when he was hitting his stride as a versatile wide receiver and playmaker in the Patriots offense with his improved long speed. In fact, the reason why Edelman hit the PUP list is because of a setback on that foot, and he needed to get healthy as soon as possible.
Well Edelman is health and good-to-go now, and it will be interesting to see if he has any rust starting things off and how he stacks up against the rookies. I expect him to end up with a solid season, and he’ll be a part of an offense that will primarily use three receivers on the field in the traditional X, Z, and slot roles.