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Newton With High Praise For Edelman
Newton has never hidden his respect and adulation for Edelman. the two connected soon after Newton signed with the team, worked out together during the offseason, and the former MVP has even been wearing Edelman’s JE12 brand clothing at practice and in the live-streamed meetings with the media.
With Edelman currently on injured reserve with a bothersome knee, there’s no question Newton misses the veteran’s presence. On Monday after he helped lead the Patriots to a 23-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens, Newton showered Edelman with some high praise while appearing on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show.
“We just need him to be healthy,” Newton said. “We need him to have that same speed that he’s always had, but now being a little more healthy, he’s now able to cut it loose without necessarily thinking. I think that’s all he wanted, and that’s all we wanted as a team. Julian Edelman is obviously a pinnacle — I would say a person that’s on Mount Rushmore of Patriots history over the years for everything that he has done and what he represents as a player. So I’m just anticipating the day that he comes back.”
That’s quite the statement considering there are only four heads on this mountain. One is obviously Tom Brady, and if you’re including coaches and not just players, Bill Belichick is obviously another. If Edelman occupies one of the final two, it leaves only one spot remaining, and you’d have to think long and hard about the other person worthy of the final head.
When Can Edelman Return?
While we can all debate who belongs on the Patriots’ Mount Rushmore, more fans will likely be interested in knowing when Edelman is eligible to return to the lineup. The answer to that question is this week’s game against the Houston Texans.
Edelman has already missed the requisite three games associated with a stint on injured reserve in this COVID-19-impacted NFL season. Edelman had a procedure on the aforementioned ailing knee, and he could be ready to practice as soon as Wednesday.
If he does, and according to Newton, Edelman is “getting better,” that’s a good sign the veteran receiver will be back on the field for Sunday’s clash with the Houston Texans.
The Patriots’ Passing Attack Has Improved in Edelman’s Absence
During Edelman’s absence, the Patriots have seen Jakobi Myers emerge as the team’s No. 1 target in the passing game. He’s currently playing Edelman’s position in the offense, and it will be interesting to see how the two mesh once the latter returns to the lineup.
Meyers has been so good, including a 12-catch, 169-yard performance last week against the New York Jets, it’s unfathomable Belichick would reduce his snaps. We’ll have to see how the Patriots handle the situation. New England’s passing game is suddenly looking formidable, especially when utilizing play-action, it’s encouraging to imagine what the team could be later in the season.