We heard yesterday that the Patriots will be welcoming back three key players in 2021, but another veteran’s outlook remains uncertain. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that veteran wideout Julian Edelman will continue rehabbing and recovering from a knee injury that shortened his 2020 campaign.
Rapoport notes that Edelman still wants to play next season, but the main concern is if his knee will be able to hold up to the rigors of another NFL season. No decision has been made, but Edelman’s status in 2021 will be directly attributed to his health. If he feels like he’s overcome his knee injury, he’ll likely be on the field.
The 34-year-old appeared in New England’s first six games of the 2020 season. Thanks (in part) to the fact that he was seeing targets from the likes of Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, and Brian Hoyer instead of Tom Brady, Edelman struggled to put up consistent numbers. Other than an eight-catch, 179-yard performance in Week 2, the wideout was limited to only 13 receptions for 136 yards and no scores in his other five games.
Of course, the former Super Bowl MVP is only one season removed from a 1,000-yard campaign, so it may be too early to write off Edelman. The veteran is also the only reliable receiving option currently on New England’s roster; former first-rounder N’Keal Harry has struggled through his first two NFL seasons, and the team is otherwise eyeing former undrafted free agents Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski for the top of the depth chart. If Edelman is healthy enough to play next season, we should set a statistical rebound.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.