New England Patriots star wide receiver Julian Edelman was seen leaving practice early on Tuesday, sparking rumors that his surgically repaired ankle still might not be up for fulfilling the rigors of a full NFL season.
According to ESPN, 30-year-old Edelman, who was just removed from the Patriots’ PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list two days ago, was seen taking himself out of the team’s joint practice with the New Orleans Saints much more early than was expected.
The news, ESPN speculates, could be a leftover remnant from Edelman’s left foot injury that limited him to nine games last season. Edelman’s ankle had to be surgically repaired. Edelman underwent offseason surgery on his left foot after injuring it in the New England Patriots’ well-earned win against the New York Giants on November 15, 2015.
He would miss the team’s final seven games before returning for the playoffs. Despite the concerning nature of Edelman’s injury at the time, the star wide receiver made a point to come back in time for the Patriots’ playoff run earlier this year.
Sources close to Edelman noted to ESPN that the preliminary report is not serious enough to speculate that he will miss significant time. This report, however, should be noted as only preliminary.
“It’s not believed to be a serious setback,” confirmed NFL.com’s Kevin Patra in a separate report, “but don’t expect the Patriots to take any more chances with [Julian Edelman] before the regular season begins.”
In seven seasons with Tom Brady’s New England Patriots, Edelman has accrued 318 catches for 3,326 yards and 21 touchdowns (to three fumbles).
Despite his strong statistics, persistent injuries over the years have limited Edelman to just 86 games out of a potential 112 in the regular season. This amounts to about 77 percent in game availability for Edelman to date.
Per ESPN New England Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss, the troubling injury and Edelman’s premature exit from practice did not go unnoticed by either observers or the team’s training staff.
Reiss noted that he observed, “Edelman [throw] his helmet in disgust as he walked to head athletic trainer Jim Whalen before sitting on the back of a cart. Edelman took his left shoe [exposing his surgically repaired foot] off as he sat on the back of the cart, with Whalen examining him. Whalen was later seen on his cellphone as he stood next to Edelman.”
Reiss did also note that Edelman, who otherwise looked “exceptionally quick in practice,” was able to lace his shoe and walk off the practice field under his own power, albeit more slowly than usual.
The Patriots, who the Inquisitr previously noted will also be without lead signal caller Tom Brady for four games due to suspension, continued on with practice as usual despite the star receiver’s early departure.
ESPN’s Reiss also noted that defensive end Rob Ninkovich left Patriots’ practice early due to a believed triceps issue. Likewise, Ninkovich left the field on his own and is scheduled to undergo an MRI to determine the extent to which he is injured.
Further details regarding Julian Edelman’s worrisome injury have yet to be known.
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