Julian Edelman is progressing well in his rehab from the injury that visibly limited him earlier this season, according to quarterback Cam Newton.
Edelman, the New England Patriots’ 34-year-old wide receiver, has spent the last three weeks on injured reserve after undergoing a knee procedure last month.
“I can confirm he?s getting better,” Newton said on WEEI’s “Greg Hill Show” one day after the Patriots upset the Baltimore Ravens 23-17 on “Sunday Night Football.” “He?s doing well. For him to be everything that he is — and I know he may be listening or he may be having his people listen — he?s good, man.
“Just to see him in good spirits and knowing that we?re doing our job as a team so when he comes back, it?s evident that he?ll have help at that position.”
The Patriots’ No. 1 wideout for much of the last decade, Edelman was third on the depth chart behind Damiere Byrd and N’Keal Harry over the team’s first six games this season. He turned in a career performance in New England’s Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks (eight catches, 179 yards) but otherwise was unusually ineffective, catching just eight passes on 21 targets for 79 yards and no touchdowns over the final four games before his surgery.
The wideout help Newton mentioned has come in the form of Jakobi Meyers, who now leads all Patriots in catches (28) and receiving yards (353) despite hardly playing in the first five games. Meyers was the only wideout to receive a target from Newton in Sunday night’s win. He caught five of his seven targets for a team-high 59 yards and also threw a touchdown pass.
It remains unclear when or if Edelman will be back on the field this season — head coach Bill Belichick previously said his injury was not believed to be season-ending — but having him back to anything even resembling his 2019 form would provide a passive boost to New England’s receiving corps.
Having missed the necessary three games, Edelman now is eligible to return to the active roster. If healed, he could be back at practice as early as Wednesday.
“We just need him to be healthy,” Newton said on WEEI. “We need him to have that same speed that he?s always had, but now being a little more healthy, he?s now able to cut it loose without necessarily thinking. I think that?s all he wanted, and that?s all we wanted as a team.
“Julian Edelman is obviously a pinnacle — I would say a person that?s on Mount Rushmore of Patriots history over the years for everything that he has done and what he represents as a player. So I?m just anticipating the day that he comes back.”