New England Patriots: Impact of Julian Edelman injury
By Marin Gang
The New England Patriots have continued their undefeated season after their latest win over the New York Giants. With the nail-biting 27-26 victory, the Patriots are now 9-0, while the Giants drop to 5-5; both teams lead their respective divisions.
As great as this news may be to Patriots fans, the win over the Giants came with a heavy price as wide-receiver Julian Edelman sustained a broken foot that ruled him out at halftime. Upon sustaining the injury, it was clear that something was wrong; Edelman limped off the field, and as he reached the bench, he threw his helmet to the ground in frustration.
According to Albert Greer of the NFL Network, Edelman is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, but is on the road to recovery as he has already had a screw surgically inserted into his foot. The surgery was to fix a fractured fifth metatarsal bone in the mid-foot, an injury also known as a Jones fracture. It’s not out of the question for Edelman to return this year considering Dallas Cowboys’ WR, Dez Bryant, sustained a similar injury in week one and was back just seven weeks later.
So far this year, Edelman is Tom Brady‘s top target with 61 receptions, and only second to Rob Gronkowski in both receiving yards (692) and touchdowns (7). Bill Belichick’s depth-chart is always prepared, but an injury to one of the team’s best players, is not an easy one. Tom Bradyput it best, “When it’s someone that’s been the leading receiver on your team for multiple years and you lose them, it’s not like you go, ‘OK, well, let’s just put someone else in.’ He’s too good of a player for that.”
Having said that, when players go down, teammates have to be prepared to step up when called upon. Similar to how Patriots’ running-backs and offensive linemen have overcome injuries at their respective positions, wide-receivers will now attempt to replicate Edelman’s on-field production. Wide receiver, Danny Amendola, resembles Edelman’s style of play the most, and will likely assume a much larger role on the offense as a result. Amendola really came into his own during the playoffs last year, proved himself in the Super Bowl, and is on pace this year to have the best season of his career.
Amendola isn’t the only one who is going to see more playing time; wide-receivers Keshawn Martin, Aaron Dobson, and Brandon LaFell are going to see an increase in usage as well. Those three together have a total of thirty-one receptions on the year, this is barely over half of the receptions Edelman had (61).
If there is one player who has the determination to come back from an injury stronger than ever it’s Julian Edelman. He has gained so much from his devotion to football, and will certainly commit himself to getting healthy in time for playoffs. Edelman is the type of player that proved himself trustworthy over the years; he came in as a college quarterback, excelled at returning kicks, and in the process cemented himself as the league’s best slot-receiver. All it takes is an opportunity, there are surely players on the team that have been waiting for more playing time, it’s up to them whether or not they can execute at the elite-level that Edelman showcased.
Injuries to the Patriots team this year have spanned many crucial positions and players. Despite these injuries, the wins keep coming in, and if there is one team that can use their 53-man roster best it’s the Pats. Belichick has excelled at executing his “next man up” ideology, look for it to prevail once again.
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