By: Jake Mackey
According to NFL insider Adam Schefter of ESPN, Patriots star wide receiver Julian Edelman has undergone offseason surgery on his left foot. Schefter reported via Twitter, “Patriots WR Julian Edelman recently underwent left foot surgery but is on track to return for training camp, sources told Mike Reiss and me.” Schefter followed that tweet up with another one stating, “Julian Edelman recently was spotted in NYC with a ‘big boot’ on foot, riding around on a motorized device. Surgery was ‘cleanup procedure.'” The purpose of the surgery was to reinsert the screw that was previously put in his foot.
This news comes as a bit of a surprise due to the fact that many thought that Edelman would have surgery right after the season, as opposed to two and a half months before training camp starts. Edelman originally broke a bone in his foot on November 15th in a game against the New York Giants at Metlife Stadium. The injury caused him to miss the remainder of the regular season. Edelman returned in the divisional round of the playoffs against Kansas City, a game in which he had 10 receptions, for 100 yards. In the AFC Championship Edelman had seven receptions, for 53 yards. However, for anyone who watched that game it felt as though Edelman was a non-factor. It would make sense to think that the screw might have come loose in that game when he was getting battered around by Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr.
As it was reported, Edelman is expected to be back in time for the start of training camp. However, the Patriots should make sure they do everything in their power to make sure Edelman is fully healthy before he straps a helmet on. All football fans saw how anemic the Patriots offense looked in the second half of last season when Edelman was sidelined with injury. You can easily make the argument after that stretch where the Patriots went 3-4, that Edelman is just as important to the offense as Rob Gronkowski.
Furthermore, Julian Edelman is going into his eighth season in Foxborough. He is pretty acclimated to the offense, and has a good rapport with both Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo. For those who don’t think he can play with Garoppolo, don’t forget about that nauseating video Edelman posted on social media last spring of him and Garoppolo working out on the beaches of Southern California.
My point is he doesn’t need to build any sort of relationship with a new quarterback. The, “Pied Piper” Jacoby Brissett can wait.
In addition, the Patriots have a plethora of receivers on their depth chart. It includes, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Keshawn Martin, Nate Washington, and rookie Malcolm Mitchell. Chris Harper and Aaron Dobson are more than likely on the chopping block.
Give Julian Edelman all the time he needs to recover. For an established veteran, training camp practices are just a formality. He could step on the field for the first-time on opening night in Arizona and look just as good as ever. The only thing that could derail the Patriots 2016 season early is a serious injury to a key player like Julian Edelman, as was the case last season.