Julian Edelman flashed his versatility by playing slot cornerback during the New England Patriots’ 2011 Super Bowl run. He soon might add backup NFL quarterback to his résumé.
The Patriots have done “extensive preparation over the past few days” for Edelman, the team’s top receiver, to be their backup quarterback, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning. Rapoport added that Edelman being the Patriots’ No. 2 QB on Thursday night against the Houston Texans “may actually happen.”
Jimmy Garoppolo injured his throwing shoulder Sunday, thrusting rookie Jacoby Brissett into a potential starting role. If Garoppolo can’t play in the Patriots’ Week 3 matchup, Brissett would start, and Edelman apparently would be his backup.
Edelman played quarterback in college but was converted to wide receiver after the Patriots selected him in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Edelman went 153-of-275 passing for 1,820 yards and 13 touchdowns with 11 interceptions during his senior season at Kent State. He added 1,370 yards and 13 touchdowns on 215 carries.
The Patriots worked out two free-agent quarterbacks Tuesday but elected not to sign either, indicating they believe Garoppolo can play or they’re more comfortable with Edelman under center than T.J. Yates or Sean Renfree.
Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, a former Patriots offensive coordinator, likely isn’t shocked by this news.
The most likely scenario is Brissett won’t suffer an injury Thursday, and Edelman won’t have to take a snap under center. But since Edelman is so valuable to the Patriots’ offense, sticking him at quarterback seems unnecessarily risky. He also has 14 catches on 18 targets for 142 yards this season.
The Patriots’ other in-house option would be tight end A.J. Derby, who also played quarterback in college.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images