FOXBORO, Mass. — Julian Edelman was back at Patriots practice for the first time in nine months on Thursday, and he was all about donning the pads once again.
“It’s always exciting to get back out there with your teammates and start a new year, get on the field. It’s exciting,” Edelman said.
Edelman was limited in practice on Thursday, stretching and running individual drills with the wide receivers but not playing a huge role in 1-on-1 or team drills. Edelman did partake in 7-on-7 drills against the defense toward the end of practice, catching one pass from Tom Brady and making a quick cut that added some confidence about the health of his surgically repaired left foot.
Edelman joins the Patriots after missing the entire spring and the first the first five practices in camp. This is his fifth year in the Patriots’ system, which gives him a headstart in the receiver competition, but he still feels like there is a lot of work to be done to get him back up to speed.
“I’m excited to be out here and practice with my teammates, and that will all happen if that happens,” Edelman said, “but right now, ultimately I’m focused on just trying to get out here and catch up with the train. The train’s been moving.”
With Danny Amendola and two highly drafted rookies in Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce, Edelman could be facing some steep competition to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster come Sept. 1. There is still a ways to go before then, but he does need to make up some ground on some of the other receivers if he hopes to secure his spot.
Photo via Twitter/@MikeReiss