It’s getting late, but the New England Patriots still can bring someone back off injured reserve before season’s end. And although there have been few updates on his progress, second-year receiver Malcolm Mitchell seems to be the most likely candidate.

For those hoping the Patriots instead would save that spot for Julian Edelman, don’t hold your breath. The star wideout was placed on season-ending IR after tearing his ACL during the preseason, and since he hit IR before the regular season, he’s unable to return this season.

Still, ESPN’s Adam Schefter asked Edelman during a recent episode of Schefter’s “Know Them From Adam” podcast whether he’d (hypothetically, we suppose?) be able to return.

“Probably not,” Edelman told Schefter when asked whether he could return for the playoffs. “I don’t even want to get it out there. You know, you really can’t put a timetable on these types of things because A.) People heal differently, speed’s (different). B.) You put a time out there, a day and if you don’t get it past that day then, oh well, ‘Whose fault is it? Is it the athlete’s fault? Is it the training staff’s fault? Is it the doctor’s fault?’

“And then C.) You get early and you come back and you get hurt then ‘Oh maybe he shouldn’t have been going.’ There’s just so many things, there just too many variables to put a number on … You know Adrian Peterson is an absolute superstar like Wolverine-type man. You know I don’t know if I’m like Adrian Peterson. There’s other guys that take longer cases so I’m just going to try and focus on getting my knee better and I’m going to work relentlessly.”

Nice not-so-subtle plug for your new book, Julian.

Edelman went on to detail the status of his rehab, saying “We’ve got a lot of movement stuff going.”

However, the 31-year-old says he’s trying to balance aggressive rehabilitation with proper recovery time, as he admits he’s “the type of guy that tries to float around that line a little too closely.”

Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images