Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman was carted off the field during their third pre-season game with an apparent injury to his right leg in the first quarter.
At the time, Coach Bill Belichick stated he did not have an injury update on Edelman during the post-game press conference.
Edelman is a leading Patriots receiver, famed for his reliability – leading The Patriots in receptions in 2015 and the 2016 Super Bowl winning campaign – coming down with an incredible catch that kept hopes alive as the Patriots mounted the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
It was a non-contact injury, which can often imply an issue with the ACL or MCL in a player’s leg. An ACL or MCL tear would cost Edelman a season that looked to feature the best Patriots receiving corp since their 2007 campaign with Randy Moss.
Unfortunately the worst has been confirmed:
Thoughts and prayers are with Edelman from fans as well as fellow NFL players, including Patriots alum LeGarrette Blount.
Edelman signed a two-year contract extension in the offseason, with 7 million in guaranteed money, which could prove valuable if the 31 year old Edelman misses extended time. As a player who relies on quick routes and hard cuts on the open field, even a full recovery from an ACL injury could impact his playing ability for some time. Fantasy Labs ran an interesting analysis on Running Backs post-ACL tear and found significant drop off.
When Patriots receiver Wes Welker went down with a similar injury in 2009, his numbers the following season were career lows for his tenure with The Patriots.
Despite the injury The Patriots went on to win in thrilling fashion, with a last second field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. Tom Brady threw for 2 touchdowns, an interception, and 174 yards.
More on this story as it develops.