New England Patriots: Rex Burkhead taking reps as punt returner


With Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games of, the New England Patriots will need a punt returner to start the season.

Due to Julian Edelman being suspended for the first four games of the season, the New England  Patriots will have to use part of their training camp to plan for life without him. While Edelman is certainly going to be a big part of the offense, he has also been an important part of the special teams unit for the Patriots.

One of the reasons why the Patriots are successful is because of the pride that they put in special teams. Despite being a great weapon on offense, Edelman has also been a punt returner for the Patriots.

Since Edelman was expected to return, he was also figured to be the punt returner once again. While he may after he serves his suspension, the Patriots will need someone to return punts. So far, the Patriots have been trying out multiple players as punt returners.

One of the interesting players that have been returning punts is running back Rex Burkhead. Burkhead did come from the Cincinnati Bengals as a player that has some experience on special teams, however, that was mostly as a kick returner.

Burkhead has never returned any punts in the NFL, but he does have a bit of experience doing so in college. One of the valuable things about Burkhead is his ability to doing a lot of things on the football field. Coming into 2018, he will likely be the red zone back for the Patriots like he was in 2017. However, he might be able to help on special teams too, if he proves to be reliable as a punt returner.

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With some other options on the team to return punts, it will certainly be something to watch in training camp and the preseason. Since Edelman is out for a quarter of the season, it will be important for New England to have a reliable person replacing him.