Julian Edelman

Injury Updates: Bridgewater, Panthers, Brees, Saints, Edelman, Patriots

Fortunately today looks like a (relatively) clean Sunday in terms of NFL injuries. We’re still tracking a couple of important quarterbacks though, and we’ve got a few updates to offer as the Week 10 slate winds down:

  • All eyes are on Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers now after Bridgewater suffered a knee injury during Carolina’s loss to Tampa Bay. Bridgewater underwent an MRI immediately after the game, somewhat of a departure from a usual Monday MRI, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com tweets. While the team clearly wanted to rush him in, fortunately the “initial word” on the injury is that “it’s not serious,” Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Rapsheet adds that a source told him they’re not even ruling Bridgewater out for next week yet. More good news is, as Mortensen points out, the injury is to his right knee which is not the one that was completely torn up during his devastating 2016 injury. All that being said, it sounds like there’s a good chance that former XFL star P.J. Walker gets one or more starts under center for Carolina. They’ll play the Lions next week.
  • Bridgewater wasn’t the only NFC South passer to get banged up, as Drew Brees didn’t play the second half of the Saints’ win over the 49ers due to a rib injury. Brees took a big hit late in the first half and initially stayed in the game before telling Sean Payton at halftime that he wouldn’t be able to continue. Speaking to the media after the game Brees was vague, and described his injury as an “accumulative thing,” via Jeff Nowak of NOLA.com (Twitter video link). He’s been listed on the injury report with a shoulder injury, and Brees made it sound like the issue is a combination of things rather than one specific ailment. It’ll be very interesting to monitor this situation going forward, and to see if Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill would become the starter if he has to miss time. Winston filled in on Sunday, completing 6/10 passes for 63 yards.
  • The Patriots have been widely criticized for the lack of weapons they’ve provided Cam Newton, but fortunately help could be on the way soon. Julian Edelman, sidelined since undergoing a knee procedure a couple of weeks ago, seems to be recovering well. Mike Reiss of ESPN.com heard some “optimism from those close” to Edelman, who said he’s been moving well in recent on-field work. It’s too early to say for sure, but it sounds from Reiss’ blurb that Edelman has a real chance to return in Week 11 when first eligible against the Texans.

Patriots Notes: Gilmore, Newton, Edelman

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is usually tight-lipped when it comes to, well, just about everything, but he was quite candid in discussing his team’s struggles this season. The 2-4 Pats are in the midst of their first three-game losing streak since 2002, and Belichick suggested that one of his club’s goals in 2020 was to get right with the salary cap after years of heavy investments.

“This is kind of the year that we’ve taken to, I would say, adjust our cap from the spending that we’ve had in accumulation of prior years,” Belichick said (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com). “We just haven’t been able to have the kind of depth on our roster that we’ve had in some other years.”

In addition to their league-leading eight COVID-19 opt-outs, the Pats are carrying about $26MM of dead cap charges this season, and as Reiss indicated back in March, the club’s financial picture in 2021 is much brighter. New England may be taking its lumps in 2020, but it is still lurking in the AFC East and is eyeing a major rebound next year.

Now for more out of Foxborough:

  • Stephon Gilmore‘s name has come up in trade rumors, but Reiss says the Pats are not actively shopping their star corner, which is consistent with what we heard several days ago. However, the ESPN scribe suggests that Belichick could be willing to listen if a rival club were to offer a first- or second-round draft choice. Assuming that does not happen, then Gilmore is likely to finish out the season with New England. The two sides would need to address his contract situation at that point, as Gilmore is under club control through 2021 and will be seeking a healthy extension.
  • As of this writing, the Patriots have not done much to suggest that they will be sellers at this week’s trade deadline, but if they fall to the division-rival Bills today, that could change, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com confirms.
  • QB Cam Newton was benched in a blowout loss to the 49ers last week, and though the time he missed due to COVID-19 certainly could explain his recent struggles, the Pats are still alarmed by the number of mistakes he’s making, per Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (video link). While Newton’s job is not in imminent danger, he could lose the starting gig if he does not turn it around soon.
  • New England’s WR depth chart, which is already quite thin, took another hit when Julian Edelman was placed on IR with a knee injury. Belichick said he expects the veteran pass catcher to be back this season, but several people close to Edelman have their doubts, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). Edelman’s knee has been bothering him for awhile, and although his recent surgery helped alleviate some discomfort, the knee is still bone-on-bone. The Pats could save $4MM against the cap by moving on from the 34-year-old at season’s end, and one wonders if he might have played his last game for New England.
  • In an effort to bolster their WR group, the Pats plan to have veteran wideout Donte Moncrief come in for a workout, per Reiss (via Twitter). The former third-rounder has generally struggled to live up to expectations in his career, and he was recently released off the Jets’ practice squad. Given Gang Green’s own receiver issues, that’s not a good sign, but Moncrief is only 27 and still possesses plenty of physical tools.
  • In addition to Moncrief, the Pats are also bringing in fellow WR Darius Jennings and DT Ryan Glasgow, according to Reiss. Albert Breer of SI.com says the team recently hosted FB Roosevelt Nix (Twitter link).

Patriots To Place Julian Edelman On IR

The Patriots will not have their top pass catcher or defender available against the Bills. While the team traveled to Buffalo without Stephon Gilmore, Julian Edelman will land on IR Saturday.

Edelman has run into knee trouble and underwent surgery this week. While Edelman will be out for at least three weeks — perhaps longer — Bill Belichick expects him to return this season, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

New England’s already limited passing attack will be down N’Keal Harry as well, creating one of the thinnest Patriot receiving crews in Belichick’s 21-year tenure. Edelman, who posted a career-high 1,117 receiving yards last season, leads the Pats with 315 this year. However, 179 of those came in Week 2 against what turned out to be a bottom-end Seahawks defense. Harry has 19 receptions for 172 yards. Damiere Byrd — the only non-Edelman Patriot with more than 200 receiving yards this season — and Jakobi Meyers are in line to be Cam Newton‘s top receivers against the Bills.

Gilmore suffered a knee injury in practice this week. Although the reigning defensive player of the year contracted the coronavirus, this will be his first missed game this season. Gilmore has not missed any time since the 2017 season.

This injury comes at an interesting time for the former Bills first-round pick. Gilmore landed in trade rumors during draft time and before training camp, and with the Patriots at 2-4 and not looking like a Super Bowl contender for the first time in over a decade, the 30-year-old stalwart’s name has come up again. The Pats gave Gilmore a raise ahead of this season, but considering where the cornerback market has gone, the premier boundary defender will likely push for a new deal in 2021. For what it’s worth, Gilmore rumors did not point to a pre-deadline trade prior to this injury news surfacing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots’ Julian Edelman Has Knee Injury

The Patriots will be without Julian Edelman for at least a little while. After undergoing a procedure for his nagging knee injury, the wide receiver will be out for Sunday’s crucial game against the Bills, at minimum (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

Last year, Edelman tallied 100 receptions for 1,117 yards and six touchdowns. Even in his age-34 season, he remains a key player in the Patriots’ offense. Through six games, Edelman has 21 catches for 315 yards — less than his usual pace, though his 15.0 yards per grab represents a career watermark. Edelman opened the year with a solid showing against the Dolphins, followed by an eight-catch, 179-yard performance against the Seahawks. Since then, he’s been limited, but the hope is that the minor surgery will help him get back to his old form.

The timing is less-than-ideal for the Patriots, who have dropped three straight games and fallen to 2-4 on the year. After their 33-6 defeat at the hands of the Niners, they badly need a W against the division-leading Bills.

The Patriots have Edelman under contract through 2021 thanks to the two-year, $15.5MM add-on he signed last year. This year, he counts for roughly $9.7MM against the cap. In ’21, the Pats have him on a more affordable $6.7MM cap figure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Edelman, Jets, Bills

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman won’t be prosecuted in connection with his January incident (via TMZ). One week after the Patriots were eliminated from the playoffs, Los Angeles police alleged that he jumped on the hood of someone else’s Mercedes and caused damage. His drunken escapade won’t result in legal consequences because the owner of the car doesn’t want him to be prosecuted and Edelman does not have a “known criminal history,” per the DA’s office. With that, it’s unlikely that the Super Bowl LIII MVP will face league suspension.

Last year, Edelman tallied 100 receptions for 1,117 yards and six touchdowns. Even as he enters his age-34 season, he remains a key player in the Patriots’ offense. Now, the Pats have to figure out who will be throwing to him in 2020.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • The Patriots still hold Rob Gronkowski‘s rights, which means that he wouldn’t be able to simply come out of retirement and rejoin Tom Brady in Tampa (if that’s what he wants to do). However, he could easily force the Patriots’ hand, as Mike Florio of PFT notes. Gronk could un-retire, put his $9MM salary back on the books, and push the cap-strapped Pats to trade or release him. In that scenario, Florio speculates that the Patriots could swing a trade for one of the Bucs’ talented tight ends – Cameron Brate or O.J. Howard.
  • Despite the chatter, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY doesn’t think the Jets will trade Jamal Adams. He reasons that if the Jets wanted to trade the Pro Bowl safety, they would have done it already – the Cowboys reportedly offered a first-round pick for him, but they countered by asking for a whole lot more. That sky-high asking price, he says, is a pretty good indication that they want to keep Adams for the long-haul. Despite all of the drama, Adams is one of the game’s premier young defenders and the Jets seem to think that an extension is possible.
  • With that said, Vacchiano doesn’t think the Jets are in any rush to extend Adams. The 24-year-old (25 in October) can be kept through 2021 through his fifth-year option. After that, they can realistically use the franchise tag twice over to keep him through 2023.
  • The Bills are believed to have running back on their draft to-do list, but they also see rising sophomore Devin Singletary as a potential workhorse back. “I think Devin can do either or. He’s an unselfish player,” GM Brandon Beane said (via PFT). “If we want him to be the workload guy, I think he could definitely do it. I think Year Two is going to be better for him.” Singletary averaged over 5.0 yards per tote last year and could have had a chance at 1,000+ yards if he hadn’t missed time with a hamstring injury.

Patriots Rumors: Brady, Edelman, Gilmore

We heard earlier this week that the Patriots made “no tangible effort” to retain Tom Brady, which drove Brady to leave Foxborough. Mike Reiss of ESPN.com paints a slightly different picture with respect to Brady’s departure, saying that Brady himself believed he had squeezed everything he could out of his relationship with head coach Bill Belichick (who may have felt similarly). Had Belichick approached Brady and suggested that the two sides do what they could to make sure the six-time Super Bowl champ finished his career with the Pats, Brady may have been receptive, but that is not Belichick’s style, and Brady never really expected that to happen.

The Patriots’ usual impersonal approach to their business, which has served them quite well over the past two decades, also played a role. The Pats generally withhold offers from players they are interested in retaining but who are allowed to test the market. That way, they avoid bidding against themselves and insulting the player, but by keeping an open dialogue, they are able to pounce if the price is right. In Brady’s case, no negotiations took place since August, and player and team may have been waiting for each other to make the first move.

Now for more from Foxborough:

  • So where do the Patriots go from here? Although New England is among the league leaders in dead cap charges for 2020 ($23MM), Reiss believes the club is in line for a reboot, not a rebuild. The Pats have a much rosier financial outlook in 2021, when they are projected to have roughly $100MM of cap space, so Reiss suggests they will look to get younger and clean up their cap situation this year so they can take full advantage of their flexibility next season.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe is more pessimistic about the Pats’ immediate prospects (though he does say that the salary cap ramifications stemming from a theoretical Brady re-up made it more logical for the team to part ways). He believes the club is in for a difficult rebuild, and while there do not appear to be any concrete trade rumblings, he suggests that New England could look into dealing WR Julian Edelman and CB Stephon Gilmore.
  • Indeed, Gilmore — the reigning Defensive Player of the Year — could be seeking a raise after seeing less accomplished CBs get PAID this offseason, and dealing him would certainly yield a nice return of draft capital. It depends, presumably, on whether the Patriots feel they can retool on the fly or need to tear down.
  • Despite being connected to Bengals’ QB Andy Dalton in offseason rumors, the Patriots have not discussed Dalton, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic (via Twitter). We heard several days ago that New England would instead seek a cheaper veteran, and Howe suggests former Patriot Brian Hoyer could be in play (Twitter link). Hoyer, who was released by the Colts yesterday, is reportedly open to a reunion with the Pats.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman Arrested

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was arrested on Saturday night after allegedly jumping on the hood of someone else’s Mercedes, per TMZ Sports. Edelman was cited for misdemeanor vandalism and released.

Edelman was reportedly walking around Beverly Hills with friends around 9pm when he leaped onto the vehicle for some unknown reason. Officers were in the area working on a robbery case when a bystander flagged them down and alerted them of the incident.

TMZ’s law enforcement sources say that Edelman was drinking, which is hardly surprising. And given the nature of the transgression, the LA County district attorney may not file charges, especially if Edelman pays the vehicle owner for damages.

Edelman was also arrested in 2011 for allegedly groping a woman at a bar, but those charges were later dropped after video evidence proved inconclusive. Given that, the current allegations probably will not lead to an NFL suspension.

As one of the few reliable weapons in the Patriots’ passing game this year, Edelman hauled in 100 catches for 1,117 yards and six scores. The 33-year-old is under contract through 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Newton, Barkley, Edelman

The Panthers’ season got off to a disastrous start, as the team limped out to an 0-2 record and Cam Newton re-injured himself. It looked like they were quickly circling the drain, and then Kyle Allen happened. Allen was nearly perfect starting in place of Newton, averaging ten yards per attempt and tossing four touchdowns while leading Carolina to a road win over Arizona. Allen’s performance was so strong, that it sparked some talk of a potential quarterback controversy.

Speaking after the game Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said the starting job is still Newton’s when he’s healthy but that right now they’re “rolling” with Allen, per Joseph Person of The Athletic (Twitter link). Newton won’t be getting benched, but Rivera’s comments don’t exactly inspire confidence that he’ll be back soon. Newton aggravated a foot injury he suffered during the preseason, and his throwing shoulder which he underwent surgery on this offseason hasn’t looked 100 percent either. It’ll be very interesting too see what happens next, but with Allen’s emergence it appears Carolina’s quarterback situation isn’t as dire as it originally seemed.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • We’ve heard that Giants running back Saquon Barkley has suffered a high ankle sprain and is going to miss some time, and now we have Barkley’s thoughts on his injury. “I’m not out for the season,” Barkley said, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. “I’m going to do whatever I can to get back as quickly as possible.” Barkley told Jordan Ranaan of ESPN.com that he had a high ankle sprain his freshman year at Penn State, and that he only missed two games with that injury (Twitter link). Right now two missed games would probably be a best-case scenario.
  • Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was knocked out of New England’s win over the Jets with a rib injury, but fortunately it doesn’t seem too serious. X-Rays on his ribs were negative, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport writes that it’s an “early positive sign,” which would seem to suggest he isn’t completely out of the woods yet. In the wake of Antonio Brown‘s release, the Patriots’ receiving corp would suddenly go from loaded to a bit thin if Edelman has to miss any time.
  • In case you missed it, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed‘s career is in doubt.

Patriots Notes: Edelman, Hoyer, Punter

Over the past 10 years, there have only been two occasions where the Patriots have carried three quarterbacks. With Tom Brady and rookie fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham being locks to make the team, Brian Hoyer understandably finds himself on the roster bubble.

“You can’t really worry about that. My approach is to just be the best I can be, and I think that will be good enough,” Hoyer told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “It’s not something I’m really concerned with. If anything, I’m trying to push the guy ahead of me, and I love being in that room with him. We have such a healthy competition on a daily basis, and I know that’s made me that much better since I’ve come back.”

After spending the first three years of his career with the Patriots, Hoyer returned to New England following the Jimmy Garoppolo trade in 2017. Reiss notes that the 33-year-old has been “very sharp” over the past few weeks, which could end up validating his spot on the roster.

Let’s check out some more notes out of New England…

  • Patriots wideout Julian Edelman has passed his physical and been removed from the non-football injury list, reports ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter). The veteran suffered a thumb injury in late-July that ultimately sidelined him for about three weeks. It’s been a busy few days for the Pats’ wide receiver corps. Embattled wideout Josh Gordon was reinstated from suspension on Friday, and he was subsequently placed on the team’s active/NFI list. To make room on the roster, the organization moved on from Dontrelle Inman.
  • The Patriots are set to release veteran punter Ryan Allen, but it sounds like they might not be ready to hand over the keys to rookie Jake Bailey. Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com tweets that the Patriots made a claim for punter Johnny Townsend, who was waived by the Raiders last week. The Giants ended up claiming the 2018 fifth-rounder.
  • While the Patriots tight end depth chart is still a question mark, Nick Underhill of The Athletic writes that the team’s offense is trending upwards. Last week, the team was running out the likes of Braxton Berrios and Gunner Olszewski with their first-team offense. Several days later, the team’s depth chart has been revamped. It goes beyond the return of Edelman and Gordon, as the team has potentially found some worthy targets in undrafted wideout Jakobi Meyers and third-round running back Damien Harris. Add that pair to Phillip Dorsett and first-rounder N’Keal Harry (as well as running backs James White, Sony Michel, and Rex Burkhead), and there’s plenty of reason for optimism in New England.

Patriots Work Out Justin Hunter

The Patriots worked out four wide receivers on Monday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Free agents Nick Williams (Titans), Justin Hunter (Steelers), Papi White (Jaguars), and Travin Dural (Saints) all showed their stuff for the Pats, who will be without Julian Edelman for the next three weeks because of a thumb injury. 

Hunter seemed to hold serious promise when he entered the league as a second round pick of the Titans in 2013. Since then, he has spent time with three other teams, with the Steelers being the most recent of the bunch. He has managed just 14 catches with the Bills, Dolphins, and Steelers between 2017 and 2018. Last year, he did not see the field. His best season came most productive season came in 2014 when he had 28 catches for 498 yards and three scores with the Titans, though he did manage four TDs with Buffalo in 2016.

Hunter and the other players won’t have the easiest path towards making the Patriots’ final cut, but one of them may have an outside opportunity to hook on with the defending champs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.