Julian Edelman was permitted back at Gillette Stadium on Monday, and he’s allowed to practice Tuesday, but he’s not officially on the New England Patriots’ roster just yet.
The Patriots received a roster exemption for Edelman. They don’t need to make a roster move to activate Edelman until Thursday at 4 p.m. Until then, the Patriots essentially will have 54 players on their roster.
It’s likely the Patriots will wait until that deadline to activate Edelman and create a roster spot to keep the Indianapolis Colts waiting. The Patriots play the Colts in Week 5 on Thursday at 8:20 p.m.
So, how will the Patriots make room for Edelman? There doesn’t appear to be a candidate to place on injured reserve. Cornerback Eric Rowe, defensive end Geneo Grissom and tight end Jacob Hollister sat out Week 4 with injuries, but they all would have practiced Monday, according to the Patriots’ projected injury report. Linebacker Elandon Roberts, defensive tackle Adam Butler and tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered injuries Sunday. Roberts and Butler also would have practiced Monday, and Gronkowski’s injury reportedly isn’t considered serious.
The Patriots ruled defensive ends Derek Rivers and Keionta Davis and offensive linemen Ted Karras and Cole Croston inactive as healthy scratches Sunday. They have an excess of players at defensive end, cornerback and on the offensive line. If a player is a healthy scratch on Sunday, then there’s a possibility he’d be among the first players considered for release.
If the Patriots believe either Davis or Croston can clear waivers and wind up back on their practice squad, they likely would be the top candidates to be released. If Rowe is healthy, the Patriots also could choose to waive rookie cornerback Keion Crossen. The Patriots could almost certainly slip Grissom through waivers. The easiest move might be to waive Grissom, put him on the practice squad and sign him back to the active roster when he’s fully healthy again, delaying the move to cut another player.
It was a surprise that Karras was a healthy scratch Sunday, so it also would be surprising to us if he was waived. Karras had a strong training camp and preseason and was active the first three weeks of the season. The Patriots elected to activate Brian Schwenke over Karras in Week 4, however.
Running back Kenjon Barner and defensive end John Simon were the last players signed to the Patriots’ active roster. The Patriots need Barner, since he’s their No. 3 running back. Simon had a strong debut and should be kept on the roster.
The Patriots are always good for a surprise, but we wouldn’t be shocked to see Davis, Croston or Grissom moved to make room for Edelman.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images