Julian Edelman facing four-game suspension for PEDs
Written By Jason Feiner
Facing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy (PEDs), Julian Edelman has missed nearly ten months of play since he tore his ACL in a preseason game against Detroit. New England may have to wait a little longer to get him back onto the field. Throughout the offseason, the dynamic slot receiver continuously posted workout videos showing the progression of his knee, and now in Mandatory Minicamp, Minitron has forgone his knee brace and began running around like he only sprained his ankle last summer. With the story still developing and an appeal in process, we are sure to learn more about Edelman’s impending fate.
If the suspension is upheld, the Patriots receiver would miss games against Houston, Jacksonville, Detroit, and Miami. Although the Lions and Dolphins do not pose a threat to New England, the games against the Texans and at Jacksonville may be a little harder to overcome without the jackrabbit catching passes form TB12. New England already lost their leading receiver from 2017, Brandin Cooks, in an offseason trade, and Danny “Playoff”-Dola to Miami. With their depth chart consisting of Chris Hogan, Jordan Mathews, Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett, Kenny Britt, Cordarrelle Patterson, Braxton Berrios, Riley McCarron, Cody Hollister and Matthew Slater, someone will need to step up to fill the void left by Edelman in the first month of the season.
Chris Hogan could see an uptick in targets with Jordan Mathews and Malcolm Mitchell receiving extra looks in Josh McDaniels’ offensive scheme. It will be up to the other receivers on the roster to develop a rapport with Brady and ultimately earn playing time during Edelman’s absence. Don’t sleep on Cordarrelle Patterson or sixth-round pick Braxton Berrios, as both could enter training camp as dark horses ready to make a name in New England.
Edelman, 32, missed the entire 2017 campaign after securing a career-high 1,106 yards on 98 receptions in New England’s Super Bowl winning campaign in 2016. Look for him to make an impact once he returns to the fold, whether it is in week one against Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans, or in week five against Andrew Luck and the Colts. With Chris Ballard saying, “the rivalry is back on,” that would undoubtedly make for an exciting storyline.