FOXBORO, Mass. — If there was any question whether Julian Edelman would play Saturday, then those concerns can be put to rest.
Edelman, who missed Week 16 and 17 with a concussion, will suit up against the Baltimore Ravens in the Patriots’ playoff opener.
“What I experienced is in the past, and I’m worrying about the Baltimore Ravens, and I’m looking forward to that experience on Saturday,” Edelman said Wednesday in the Patriots’ locker room.
Edelman, sporting a bushy playoff beard that seemingly cropped up out of nowhere, was wearing a red non-contact jersey as recently as last Wednesday. The 28-year-old receiver doesn’t seem concerned about rust, however.
“Our coaches do a great job of preparing us in practice and simulating situations, getting our minds ready for the fast pace of a game,” Edelman said. “Sometimes it’s even harder in practice. You rely on the coaches and the people here that get you ready and prepare for you, the training staff. That’s how you get ready for that, so that’s what I’ll be doing.”
Edelman came frustratingly close to a second consecutive 100-catch, 1,000-yard season, finishing with 92 receptions for 972 yards with four touchdowns in 14 games. He was able to get something out of the two games he missed, however.
“I mean, yeah, you’re watching the game and you see things,” Edelman said about watching from home. “You really do — it puts it in perspective of ‘I’m gonna do this, this, that.’ You’re taking mental reps each and every play — I’m watching defense, saying ‘Oh, look at this.’ It’s just about keeping your head in the game. That’s what I’ve done, and our coaches and our training staff have done a great job of keeping me prepared and getting better each and every day. So, that’s what we’re doing.”
Edelman has been taking extra reps after practice to get his chemistry back with quarterback Tom Brady, though that shouldn’t be a problem after being the Patriots’ leading receiver for two consecutive years.
Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN
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