Julian Edelman is in Minnesota with the New England Patriots, but he will not be on the field when his team takes on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
In December, the wide receiver spoke with ESPN’s Adam Schefter to discuss whether or not he’d be back in time to play during the postseason. At the time, he was unable to give Schefter a definitive answer, but as of February 4, he is still listed on the team’s injured reserve.
“I don’t even want to get it out there. You really can’t put a timetable on these types of things,” Edelman told Schefter. “A) People heal differently. B) You put a time out there, a day, and if you don’t get it past that day, then it’s like ‘Oh, well whose fault is it? Is it the athlete’s fault? Is it the training camp’s fault? Is it the doctor’s fault?’ C) You get it early, and you come back, but maybe you get hurt. Then it’s like ‘Oh, well maybe he shouldn’t have been going.’ I’m putting all my time and energy in trying to make this thing heal as fast as it possibly can, and as best as it possibly can,” he added.
Instead of preparing alongside his teammates, Edelman has been spending the week getting New England fans hyped for the big game. Just a couple of days ago, he shared a video from the Patriots’ practice in Minnesota. As he filmed his teammates doing their usual drills, he yelled, “I want to play football.”
Edelman underwent surgery in late September after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee during the first quarter of a 2017 preseason game against the Detroit Lions. At one point, a torn ACL was considered a career-ending injury, “but today, thanks to arthroscopy and refined surgical techniques, most athletes are able to return to sports,” The Guardian reports. ACL surgery typically requires a lengthy recovery time — anywhere from six to nine months.
“From the time you first undergo surgery through full rehabilitation, the process can take up to six months or more. You need to take it easy and follow a rehabilitation program to strengthen the muscles around the knee and to regain range of motion.”
On Saturday night, Edelman accepted quarterback Tom Brady’s MVP Award on his behalf.
“He said one thing for me to say,” Edelman told the crowd at the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Auditorium. “He said, ‘LFG.’ I don’t know what it means, but he said, ‘LFG.’”
LFG is short for “Let’s f*cking go,” which has been the Patriots mantra this season — it’s something that Brady has been saying before and during games all season long.
Brady, of all Edelman’s teammates, understands the situation his wide receiver is in. Brady returned to football after tearing the ACL in his left knee in 2008, and has led his team to two Super Bowl victories since, being named the game’s Most Valuable Player in both of those wins.
Edelman’s presence will undoubtedly be missed in Super Bowl LII. In the February 5, 2017, Edelman was a clutch player. He made an incredible catch that helped his team come back and overcome a 21-3 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons by a final score of 34-28. You can watch that catch here.