The head coach announced the news on Friday morning, while staying away from the conversation about the 34-year-old’s future. Edelman played in a career-low six games this season after being placed on the injured reserve list on Oct. 31 from a knee procedure.
“He’s not going to play this year,” Belichick said.
Edelman was activated from the injured reserve list and practiced starting Dec. 16, but was never able to get on the field for game-time. He didn’t practice ahead of the Week 16 matchup against the Buffalo Bills and appeared to backpedal in his progression. Belichick was asked if Edelman had any setbacks after returning.
“I wouldn’t say that, no. I would just say he just wasn’t ready to play and won’t be ready to play,” Belichick continued.
Though he did stick around to help out the younger receivers on his team — Jakobi Meyers, Damiere Byrd and Gunner Olszewski all received help from the Patriots’ legend.
“He was around regularly,” Belichick said. “He did a good job of using his experience to help other guys in areas that he was familiar with and could give them the benefit of his experience and some guidance, definitely.”
When it comes to 2021, Belichick answered with an on-par answer.
“I think it’s way too early to start talking about next year,” Belichick said.
The Patriots have an enormous amount of decisions going forward and keeping a 35-year-old Edelman will make for an interesting choice.