While some reports have suggested that Julian Edelman is dealing with a serious knee injury, others claim that his movement has improved.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is either one misstep away from rupturing the patellar tendon in his left knee or he’s moving much better today than he was earlier this week… depending on who (and what) you want to believe.
Some analysts have suggested that Edelman potentially be shut down for the final two weeks of the regular season – or at least for Week 17 against the Dolphins, provided the Patriots beat the Bills at home on Saturday. The idea of load management for NFL players isn’t really a thing with a 16-game regular season (compared to the NBA and MLB), but it’s actually not a bad idea in the case of Edelman.
Dr. Jessica Flynn of The Boston Sports Journal theorized earlier this week that Edelman is either dealing with “tendonitis in the patellar tendon, or an acute partial tear of the tendon” in his left knee. If it’s the former, it’s a sign and symptom of the latter. And if it’s already the latter, then that means Edelman’s tendon could fully tear at any point in time – and without any warning.
Were that to happen, Edelman would need surgery to repair the tendon, and his recovery could be long and painful.
There’s also no guarantee that he’d ever physically make it back to the same level of athleticism and explosiveness pre-tear as post-tear; Flynn suggests that it’s easier for an athlete to recover from a torn ACL than it is for them to recover from a torn patellar tendon… particularly if that athlete is a noted route-runner who uses his legs as much as Edelman.
The good news for those who are closely monitoring this situation and Edelman’s health – and that should be every single self-respecting Pats fan, because Edelman is the New England offense this year – is that according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, Edelman is expected to play on Saturday against the Buffalo Bills… and he may even be moving better than we all thought he was.
NESN’s Mike Cole shared the news from Rapoport, which included the following clip:
In the clip, Rapoport goes on to say that despite the viral video where Edelman was hobbling around in Thursday’s practice, he might actually be “less banged up this week than he was last week.” Rapoport said his sources told him that Edelman “actually moved pretty well in (Thursday’s) practice,” and downplayed the receiver’s stiffness and limited mobility in the news videos by saying Edelman was “just kind of a slow starter.”
The Patriots clearly need Edelman to beat the Bills, but they also need him as healthy as possible for the playoffs. He’s not only the team’s leading receiver this season – he’s also the only reliable pass-catching threat on the wide receiver depth chart that quarterback Tom Brady seems to trust implicitly this year.