The Patriots left South Beach with a win on Sunday, but they didn’t all leave healthy.
Julian Edelman was spotted in a walking boot and crutches after the game, and now we know why: The Patriots announced on Sunday that wide receiver and special-teamer has been placed on the season-ending IR with a “foot injury.”
In nine games played, Edelman has 21 catches for 235 yards and three touchdowns. But Edelman made an impact on special teams to as the team’s primary punt returner. Edelman had 17 punt returns for 263 yards and a touchdown. He also recovered a fumble from a Jets kickoff return and ran it back for a touchdown two weeks ago.
But this isn’t the first bone Edelman has broken this season — he broke his hand earlier in the year. While he has proven to be very versatile, he’s also proven to find his way to the injury report too many times.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke on Edelman’s contributions to the team this season, prior to the announcement that his season was over.
“Julian’s had an opportunity to contribute offensively and in the kicking game in the games that he’s been able to play in,” Belichick said. “He missed a few there after the Baltimore game. In the kicking game, he’s done a good job for us as a returner. He’s also done a good job for us on kickoff coverage. He’s helped us there in the last few weeks, not just the Jets play that kind of popped to him but by making a number of tackles and doing a good job containing the ball and that kind of thing.
“Offensively, he’s done a good job with the ball in his hands on screens and routes where he can run it, reverses and screens and things like that. He had the big play in the Jet game when we hit him down the middle there on the trap coverage that the Jets missed. He’s worked hard. Julian is a solid, solid guy. He works hard, very good conditioned athlete. He’s versatile and he’s done a number of different things for us.”
Belichick loves players who can do multiple things on the field, and Edelman was certainly that player who could play in all three phases of the game.
Both Edelman and Welker will be free agents at the end of this season, and while many thought that Belichick was at one point trying to faze Welker out in favor of Edelman, it appears as though the safer — and healthier — option is Welker.
New England also signed a familiar face to the receiving squad on Tuesday, agreeing to terms with WR Donte’ Stallworth. Stallworth played with New England in 2007, and was on the team’s training camp roster this season before being cut prior to the start of the season.