Rumors regarding the health of New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman are conflicting, and his status could be up in the air for next Sunday's AFC Championship game against either the Denver Broncos or Pittsburgh Steelers. While he was expected to be limited in yesterday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, he finished with a dominating 10 receptions for 100 yards. Right after the victory, Edelman was rumored to have X-rays taken on his surgically repaired foot, as first reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.Shortly after Rapoport's grim tweet, other NFL sources confirmed that Edelman would be going in for X-rays. As reported by the Inquisitr earlier this week, Edelman played with a plate in his cleat during the game in order to protect his foot. According to sources, this plate was supposed to limit Edelman's ability to make cuts and run, but he ended up being just fine. As quarterback Tom Brady's security blanket, Edelman was involved early and often, and may have ended up making the difference in the game.
While he did not score a touchdown, his impact was indirectly felt on the field in many different ways. In addition to catching the important first down pass to seal the victory in the 4th quarter, he opened things up for tight end Rob Gronkowski. After Edelman was originally injured on November 15, Gronkowski only scored three touchdowns. Before Edelman's injury, Gronkowski scored eight touchdowns with him in the lineup. Yesterday, Gronkowski scored two touchdowns and had 83 receiving yards, which was his most dominating performance in weeks.If Edelman is unable to go on Sunday, the New England Patriots offense is going to be in trouble. While Brady and Gronkowski are elite players, Edelman really seems to be the catalyst that gets everything going. He is a pest in the middle of the field, and really requires defenses to put a significant amount of resources in slowing him down.
According to Boston, the X-rays after the game may have just been a precautionary measure. Since this was his first game in over two months, the Patriots may have just wanted to ensure that their star wide receiver did not suffer any setbacks. Regardless, there were rumors circulating on Twitter that Edelman was walking with a limp after the game, which is always a cause for concern. While he still has a week to heal, a limp could still mean a temporary setback on an already delicate foot.
After the game, Edelman spoke to reporters about the injury and the X-rays.
"Everyone's sore. I finished the game and feel good enough to go next week. If it goes, it goes. I was like a kid opening presents on Christmas or Hanukkah. Almost felt like the first game of the year."While it is good news that Edelman feels as though he will play next week, the New England Patriots are still going to monitor their star receiver's foot. As with many injuries, adrenaline directly after the game can mask some of the pain, and there is a chance that the foot swells up during the week.
When pressed after the game regarding the results of the X-rays, Edelman apparently deferred to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.While Belichick did not offer any significant information regarding the X-rays, he did speak highly of his receiver. This was to be expected, though, as Belichick never offers any real information regarding the injury status of his players.
If Edelman did not suffer a setback in yesterday's dominating performance against the Chiefs, the New England Patriots offense will be in excellent shape in the AFC Championship game. Rumors will continue to swirl throughout the week regarding his health status if he is limited in practice, but the Patriots are not always discrete on the true nature of injuries to their players.
[Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images]