The New England Patriots offense has suffered multiple key injuries this season which include guard Dan Connolly and tight end Aaron Hernandez. During the team’s week three loss to the Baltimore Ravens they lost wide receiver Julian Edelman who left during the second quarter with a hand injury and did not return. News of Edelman’s participation Wednesday sparked NFL rumors that he may not be playing Sunday when the Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills.
As usual with the Patriots, knowledge of player injuries are kept within the organization and releases to the media minimal. That trend continues with Edelman. But when the Patriots took to the practice field Wednesday afternoon, the young receiver was missing leading to speculation that the extent of his injury is more severe than the team was hoping for.
When the Patriots started the regular season they kept just five receivers on the roster. With young receivers Matthew Slater and Greg Salas chosen in front of Deion Branch, Jabar Gaffney, and Donte’ Stallworth, Edelman was the third receiver behind Pro Bowlers Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker. With contract negotiations between Welker and the Patriots at a standstill, head coach Bill Belichick chose Edelman instead of the four-time Pro Bowler Welker to start in the team’s week two loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Edelman’s absence would be a tough loss for a Patriots offense that has been dealt some tough blows already. With Edelman out Sunday, his replacement in the lineup would likely be Branch who was placed back on the active roster last week. The empty roster spot would probably go to Salas who was active for the first two games before being replaced by Branch on the roster.