The New England Patriots' wide receiver situation got even worse on Thursday as Julian Edelman underwent knee surgery.
Edelman has dealt with the nagging knee issue throughout the season, often showing up on the Patriots injury report as a limited participant in practice. As a result of the surgery, the 34-year-old is expected to miss an extended period of time.
Our Patriots insider Tom E. Curran confirmed the news and shared his reaction on a new Patriots Talk Podcast along with Phil Perry and Matt Cassel.
"I've since confirmed that yes indeed he did have surgery. How standard it is, I'm not sure. And actually how precautionary it is I would also wonder if that's the case," Curran said. "My understanding is this is the ongoing knee issue he's had since last year in Cincinnati when he aggravated the knee. It's been going on the same way, he's been dealing with it. It came to a point where it was preventing him from having a good outlook for the rest of the year.
"So, gone for the year? Not necessarily. But it will depend on how probably the next three or four weeks go in his convalescence. It goes without saying that this is a blow."
As the Patriots prepare for a Week 8 matchup vs. the Buffalo Bills, Perry notes that this is just their latest setback in what has been a season full of them to this point.
"Obviously this is a big game coming up for the Patriots going up against a division opponent who's in first place," Perry said. "Is this just another knock in a year that really feels like it's every which way not going the way of the Patriots? Whether you're talking about COVID, not having an offseason program, not having a quarterback, the quarterback is sort of regressing with every week that we watch him. Do you look at this injury and just say, is it smart for them to kind of look at 2020 for what it is and start building for 2021?
With Edelman gone, the Patriots likely will rely on receivers Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski as N'Keal Harry (concussion) could be out as well this week.
Cassel adds that while it leaves the Patriots even more shorthanded than they already were at the position, Edelman is better off sitting out than continuing to play through the injury.
"All the adversity with this team, it's hard to imagine it could get any worse," Cassel said. "You also look to the fact that Julian Edelman and the product he's putting out on the field he's probably not as proud of it as he's been in the past, and mainly because of the knee injury and he hasn't been that kind that's that dynamic slot player, even the outside receiver we've seen. ...
"To have him limited out on the field, it might not be any much better than having him out. ... This is just another obstacle that this team's going to have to go out there and fight with guys that have been really difficult in terms of having a lot of production this year."
Also discussed on the new episode: Is Edelman’s career with the Patriots over Cassel on why the weather will be in the Patriots' favor on Sunday, Cassel on Cam Newton's hesitancy when throwing, and Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic previews Patriots-Bills.