While New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was putting up a career-high in receiving yards, he was dealing with injuries that were serious enough to sideline a player for an extended period of time.
Edelman appeared on the Patriots injury report throughout the season but never missed a game. His only missed time was the second half of New England’s Week 3 victory over the New York Jets. His three main injuries were to his chest, knee, and shoulder.
And with the season coming to an end, the extent of his injuries has finally been revealed. Some of his injuries likely could have required the receiver to miss multiple weeks or even potentially end his season prematurely.
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Edelman Will Need Offseason Surgery
As reported by Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald, two of Edelman’s injuries will require offseason surgery. Her explanation:
Edelman played with a separated AC joint in his left shoulder, which was first reported by The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. Later in the year, the slot receiver was also dealing with an injury to his left knee, which will now require a scope to identify and help remove a loose body. His shoulder will be surgically repaired.
In other sports, such an injury to the knee would cause a player extreme discomfort and the need for immediate surgery. Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons recently underwent such a procedure and is out indefinitely.
It is not the same knee Edelman tore his ACL in during the 2017 preseason, however. Edelman has had injury problems throughout his career, missing eight games in 2015 with a broken foot and the entire 2017 season. He had never before injured his shoulder severely either.
As for his chest, though there was never any official diagnosis, Pro Football Doc David Chao believed it was a costochondral injury to his ribs. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that injury never cleared up and was officially diagnosed as a torn rib cartilage.
The Patriots wide receiver, who just turned 33 this past season, is signed by New England for two more years through the end of the 2021 season. He does, however, have a potential opt-out clause after next season.
Edelman has been with the Patriots since 2009 when he was drafted in the seventh round out of Kent State and converted from a quarterback to a receiver.
While injuries may have been a problem in 2019, it would be costly for Edelman to miss any of the 2020 season. The veteran receiver will incur a cap hit of $7.16 million, fifth-most among currently signed Patriots. He also has a dead cap hit of $8.3 million, something that could cost the Patriots if they cut or release him for any reason before June 1.
Despite Edelman recently being arrested in Beverly Hills, the Patriots won’t overreact to the circumstances by cutting him. He’s the second Patriots player to be involved in legal issues this season as fellow veteran Patrick Chung was indicted for drug-related crimes back in August.