With nothing left to play for, the Patriots should shut WR Julian Edelman down.
The New England Patriots made a fairly surprising move last week when they cleared Julian Edelman to practice, triggering his 21-day window to be activated to the 53-man roster after he missed almost two months recovering from knee surgery.
That move made it seem like Edelman would return for Sunday’s do-or-die matchup against Miami, but when the time came to make a decision roughly 24 hours before kickoff, the coaching staff determined that he wasn’t ready to contribute yet.
It really makes you wonder why Edelman was even at practice in the first place. However, the loss to the Dolphins, which sealed the Patriots’ playoff fate, should make their decision on shutting him down for the remaining two games a no-brainer.
Edelman could technically be activated for this weekend’s divisional clash vs Buffalo, but with nothing left to play for in terms of playoff qualification, there’s no reason for him to see the field over the final two weeks.
Why risk him aggravating the knee in a game that doesn’t carry playoff implications? Had the Patriots disposed of Miami, then we’d be all for Edelman returning to action against a Bills team that is quietly hitting their stride at the perfect time. Since they fell short in that regard, however, it would be moronic to bring him back now.
Given how bad the Patriots’ offense has been, just let the current cast of players continue to get reps in hopes that you can evaluate their status for 2021.
Before getting hurt, Edelman wasn’t exactly contributing on a weekly basis. Outside of a blow up performance against the Seahawks in Week 2, he failed to log a game with more than 60 receiving yards and had four (of five) games with fewer than four receptions and 36 receiving yards.
We won’t go as far as to say that Edelman looked washed up, but letting him rest up for the final two games and the entire offseason will ensure that he enters training camp at 100% with (potentially) a new quarterback to develop chemistry with. With that in mind, the Patriots shouldn’t even think twice about shutting him down.