Julian Edelman has been knocked out of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets with a chest injury, a major blow to an already thinned receiver corps.
As ProFootball Talk noted, Edelman was shaken up after a catch late in the first half and didn’t come out of the locker room after halftime. Edelman was initially listed as questionable to return but later ruled out for the day by the Patriots.
Edelman was having a significant impact against the Jets prior to his injury, catching seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown as the Patriots jumped out to a 20-0 lead at halftime.
The New England Patriots were already unexpectedly shorthanded in the receiving corps going into Sunday’s game. The team cut All Pro Antonio Brown on Friday after a series of sexual misconduct accusations against him and reports that Brown sent an intimidating text to one of the women while he was at the Patriots’ facilities. After his cut, the Patriots were down to Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski at wide receiver.
The Patriots already shipped away veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas in a trade with the New York Jets prior to signing Brown.
Edelman was not the only Patriots wide receiver to be banged up during the game. As MassLive.com noted, Gordon also suffered an injury scare in the third quarter when he appeared to get his finger caught on the face mask of a Jets defender, bending the finger awkwardly and leading to Gordon heading to the injury tent on the sidelines to be examined.
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) September 22, 2019
“Trainers took Gordon to the Patriots bench and appeared to examine his finger for some time, but did not immediately take him to the blue medical tent or the locker room,” the report noted. “Minutes after being looked at by trainers, Gordon moved to a nearby stationary bike on the sideline.”
Gordon was able to return to the game later, with tape on his fingers.
The Patriots’ defense has more than made up for the changes to the receiver corps, however. The team gave up only three points through the first two weeks, leading the team’s website to ponder where their defense might stand in terms of historic-best performances.
“Yes, it’s early, but this appears to be a group without any holes and one ready to compete with the most explosive offenses in the NFL,” the report noted. “They’re talented, they’re deep and they’ve been dominant.”
Julian Edelman officially out with chest injury.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 22, 2019
There is not yet an indication of how serious Julian Edelman’s injury might be, or whether it could keep him out beyond this week. An extended injury could be a major blow to the Patriots, as Edelman remains one of Tom Brady’s favorite receivers. He had six catches for 83 yards in a Week 1 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, and another four catches for 51 yards in the team’s Week 2 win over the Miami Dolphins. If Edelman should be missing significant time, it could put the potentially historic defense to the test early this season.