New England Patriots’ wide receiver Julian Edelman has a torn ACL and may be out for the 2017 season as a result.
Edelman suffered a non-contact knee injury during the Patriots’ preseason game on Friday and underwent an MRI Saturday that confirmed a full ACL tear.
Losing Edelman, 31, for the season would give Tom Brady another challenge in his career. The shifty slot receiver caught 98 passes for 1,106 yards and three touchdowns last season. He also made arguably the greatest catch in Super Bowl history, helping New England pull off the undisputed greatest comeback in football history.
Edelman signed a two-year, $11 million contract after the 2016 season (with $7 million guaranteed).
It’s a tough blow for New England, but not entirely detrimental — at least not to its chances at an easy regular season and another AFC East title. The Patriots did trade for former Saint WR Brandin Cooks this past offseason, a deep-ball threat who shined during his playing time with Drew Brees. An upgrade from Brees to Brady seems like it will help.
What does this mean for the Jets?
Well, almost nothing. The injury surely doesn’t mean anything for Gang Green in the hunt for the AFC East crown, which is still guaranteed to belong to New England… again.
Edelman’s injury does dull down the two head-to-head meetings between these two teams, the first of which will come Week 6 at MetLife Stadium. It would have been interesting to see Julian Edelman matchup with Buster Skrine in the slot, the positions at which those two specialize. Depending on how the Patriots manage the injury, we may see Skrine line-up opposite Danny Amendola or Chris Hogan.
The best WR-CB matchup in that game will still be Brandin Cooks vs. Morris Claiborne — or whoever is the Jets’ top cornerback after five games.