Julian Edelman’s fight is over.
The New England Patriots wide receiver will end his protest over a four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, NFL.com reported Friday citing sources. Edelman recently appealed the suspension, but an independent arbitrator ruled in favor of the league. Edelman’s next step would have been to sue, but he’ll instead accept his fate.
Edelman will be eligible to return in Week 5.
Edelman’s argument was that mistakes were made during the testing process — Seattle’s Richard Sherman got off on a similar argument — but the arbitrator didn’t see it Edelman’s way.
If Edelman continued to press the issue, it would have made him the second high-profile Patriots player to take the NFL to court after quarterback Tom Brady unsuccessfully tried to fight his four-game Deflategate suspension prior to the 2016 season.
Patriots fans looking for a silver lining might be able to take solace in the fact that Edelman now gets an extra four weeks to recover from a torn ACL that cost him the entire 2017 season. Edelman has played in just one preseason game since Super Bowl LI.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images