FOXBORO, Mass. — A lesser man might have sat out the New England Patriots’ practice Wednesday. But wide receiver Julian Edelman was out there with the rest of his teammates, albeit in a limited capacity.
Edelman suffered a chest injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s 30-14 win over the New York Jets and didn’t return after halftime. He reportedly had tests on the injury but must have checked out OK before hitting the practice field Wednesday.
“Jules is crazy, though,” safety Devin McCourty said Wednesday. “He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve ever played with, so you never count him out. I mean, he was saying that Sunday. He was saying he’s going to get as good as he can and do whatever he has to do, so I’m not surprised by anything he does. Since I’ve gotten here in 2010, he’s always been a tough guy. Even the years he’s been on (injured reserve) and you knew he wasn’t coming back, if you see him in the locker room or working out, you would swear he was coming back for the playoffs or something. So, he’s always been a tough guy.”
The Patriots take on the Bills this Sunday in Buffalo. Bills head coach Sean McDermott praised Edelman for his “hard, tough, physical” style of play and commented on how rare it is to use those adjectives on a wide receiver.
“I said after the game, he’s as tough as they come,” quarterback Tom Brady said. “He’s faced a lot. You know, he’s a very, very tough guy. He’ll do everything he can to get ready to go. Certainly, when he’s out there, it’s a big boost for our offense. He just does so many things for us and he’s so dependable, consistent — he’s a great player. When he’s not out there, it’s definitely noticeable for all of us. Hopefully, he can make it, and if he can’t, the other guys have got to fill in and do the best job they can do. So, you’ve just got to prepare for both.”
Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett would take over as the Patriots’ Nos. 1 and 2 receivers if Edelman can’t play. Undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers would serve as the third receiver with Gunner Olszewski and Matthew Slater acting as depth. The Patriots undoubtedly will heavily utilize James White and Rex Burkhead in the passing game, as well.