Patriots: Julian Edelman coming back for final three games makes no sense

Patriots WR Julian Edelman (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Patriots WR Julian Edelman (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Why is Patriots WR Julian Edelman seemingly on track to come back this season?

Barring an epic collapse from the handful of teams ahead of them in the AFC playoff picture, the New England Patriots’ season is over, meaning that it would be pointless to bring back veterans who are still recovering from injuries.

It goes without saying that wideout Julian Edelman falls under this category, but the coaching staff has stressed since he’s been eligible to be activated off injured reserve a few weeks ago that he’s inching closer to returning.

If Bill Belichick’s latest comments on his recovery were any indication,Edelman is actually closer than many anticipated. But…why, though?

The 34-year-old wideout last played on Oct. 25 and landed on injured reserve just a few days later after undergoing minor knee surgery. He was eligible for activation on Nov. 18 and the Patriots have provided nothing but obscure updates about his recovery.

Edelman has long passed the threshold in terms of when he could come off of IR, and there’s almost no point in bringing him back with seemingly nothing but meaningless fixtures remaining on the schedule. After all, the Pats have proven in wins over the Ravens and Cardinals that they have enough firepower on the roster — and defensive intensity — to take down any opponent on their best day, and they’re prepared to stick it to the Dolphins and Bills down the stretch.

Doesn’t it make more sense to continue to evaluate possible core pieces like N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers, who still have significant questions surrounding their future?

And yet there was Edelman at Wednesday’s practice, fighting through injury and impressing Damiere Byrd.

The Patriots just insist on refusing to admit for some reason that Edelman doesn’t really need to fight this losing battle.

After battling myriad injuries in a difficult 2019, it’s not like Edelman was all that effective when he was on the field, either. Before the injury, he logged four consecutive games with no more than three receptions or 35 yards while playing an uncharacteristic 67.8% of the offensive snaps.

The former seventh-round pick was one pace for one of the worst seasons of his esteemed career in 2020, so shutting him down for the remaining three games would make perfect sense. The sooner the Patriots admit that publicly, the better, because this charade isn’t a great look.