On Thursday, news broke that New England Patriots’ wide receiver Julian Edelman is now facing a four-game suspension. The suspension stems from a violation of the NFL’s PED policy. Edelman, after missing the 2017 season due to a torn ACL, will reportedly appeal the suspension.
— NFL (@NFL) June 7, 2018
Julian Edelman Reportedly Facing Four-Game Suspension for PED Use
The Patriots may be without the veteran slot-receiver for an extra four games come September. Edelman, following a torn ACL suffered in week 3 of the 2017 preseason, reportedly violated the NFL’s PED policy. This violation, Edelman’s first of his career, is what many assume was an attempt to recover quicker from his injury. Per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, Edelman’s suspension is still in the NFL’s appeal process, with the official ruling coming after.
Through his career with the Patriots, Edelman has accrued a stat line of 425 catches, 4,540 receiving yards, and 24 touchdown grabs. In his last regular season campaign, in 2016, Edelman caught 98 passes for a career-high 1,106 yards and three touchdowns.
Edelman projected to be fully healthy come mandatory minicamps this week after showing tremendous progress in his recovery. For the Patriots, the time could not have been better. After an up-and-down offensive season and an off-season of turnover, there is nothing Tom Brady would enjoy more than getting a consistent target back.
However, Edelman’s much-anticipated return to the field will have to wait four extra weeks. With Edelman sidelined, the Patriots now must turn to their recently-expanded wide receiver depth chart to make up for his production.
While Edelman is an irreplaceable cog in the New England machine, all hope is not lost. Under-the-radar names such as Chris Hogan, Jordan Matthews, and Braxton Berrios are only some of the names looking to replace Edelman once the NFL regular season kicks off.
Barring a successful appeal, Edelman is slated to return to the active lineup in a primetime week five matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.