Bill Belichick didn’t sound optimistic about Julian Edelman returning to the Patriots any time soon.
Based on all the game tape we’ve seen from Julian Edelman thus far in 2020, he didn’t exactly shrug off the nagging injuries that conspired to end the Patriots’ 2019 season.
At the end of last year, it was revealed that Edelman was dealing with a knee issue, separated AC joint in his shoulder and problematic rib. We were also told that this combination of maladies would’ve ended a lesser man’s season.
That’s all well and good, but the limited amount of Edelman highlights from 2020 indicate that the knee issue, specifically, might just dog him forever. After a Week 2 performance in Seattle, in which Edelman set a career high in receiving yardage that eclipsed anything he did during the Tom Brady days, he was barely targeted in the games that followed and underwent a knee procedure on Thursday that likely explained away the lack of productivity.
And when Bill Belichick took to the mic to address exactly how long the team anticipates losing Edelman, at this point, it became clear that this was fairly long-term.
The “we’ll see” speaks volumes. Might not be season ending, but, eh, let’s wait a little while before I put the period at the end of the sentence.
For years, people wondered if Edelman would end his career in New England. Perhaps he’d even chase down his old pal Touchdown Tom in Tampa Bay, making the Brady-Gronk duo a triumvirate? Now, the question isn’t whether Edelman retires here, but whether it happens at the end of this season.
The Patriots’ cabinet of weapons wasn’t exactly thickly stacked before Edelman’s midseason surgery, and it looks even bleaker now that he’s gone from hobbled to a departure.
Perhaps this refocuses Cam Newton on the caretaker role he executed so spectacularly in Week 1 against Miami and again when the Raiders came to Foxborough. This team will be run-first moving forward. Let’s see if it works.