BREAKING: As reported today by Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) and Field Yates (@FieldYates) Patriots WR Julian Edelman has been suspended for the first four games of the 2018 NFL season. Reasoning for this suspension are for PED use. The suspension is currently undergoing an appeals process are expected. This news coming from what looked like a promising return after Edelman missed all of the 2017 season due to an ACL injury received week 3 of last years pre-season against the Detroit Lions. Edelman hasn’t played since Super Bowl 51 where he made his version of “The Catch”.
What Does This Mean Moving Forward?
As of now the Patriots have just lost their top WR who was a main target and security blanket for Tom Brady. The only receivers who were on the team last year that are returning this are Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett, and Kenny Britt. New England lost Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola via free agency. With new comers like Jordan Matthews, Cordarrelle Patterson, and rookie Braxton Berrios this upcoming training camp seems to be more and more important as we near to the beginning. Brady will have to acclimate himself and get a lot more comfortable with these new faces at WRs. We’ve heard it plenty of times in the past but this is just the next man up mentality that the Patriots seem to be able to handle so well. This training camp and pre-season should be very interesting to watch as we see how the team handles the absence of Edelman.
The Return of Edelman Pushed Back.
As I stated in my last article on the outlook of the Patriots’ upcoming season and the return of Julian Edelman it seems I have to somewhat eaten my own words. Maybe I might have just jinxed something? Who knows. All in all Edelman will still be back in 2018 in week 5, depending on how the appeals process goes through. By the time Edelman returns to the team and serves his suspension it will be more than a full year since his ACL injury. Although PED use is not something that should be applauded it is unfortunate that this occurred it also gives Edelman a little more time to recover fully and make sure that knee is 100 percent healed and ready to take the full strain of an NFL season that hopefully extends into early February.
Outlook for Patriots Offense Weeks 1-4?
Listen, while this news is shocking and unfortunate it’s not the end of the world. The offense still has guys like Burkhead, Gronk, White, and Hogan. While adding receivers like Matthews, Patterson, and Berrios. Not to mention Tom Brady is still under center running the offense, a man who has seen his offensive weapons change year after year and has still been able to win the division 15 times, been to the AFC Championship game the last seven years with a total of 12 appearances, and made it to eight Super Bowls while winning five of them. All is well in Patriot land, as long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are running things I feel confident that this team will be fine and make it through the first four weeks, they did just that in 2016 while missing Brady. Lastly, let us not forget that Edelman missed all of 2017 and New England still made it to Super Bowl 52. This is not something the Patriots haven’t dealt with before, everything will be ok and the season is almost upon us. Relax Patriots nation and sleep tight, the offseason from hell is almost over.