The New England Patriots head into Buffalo with a few of their key players battling injury. Julian Edelman suffered a rib injury midway through Week 3’s contest and couldn’t finish the game. Rex Burkhead, meanwhile, suffered a foot injury during the game but stayed on the field throughout the contest. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Edelman should be good to go for Week 4 while Rex Burkhead is a game-time decision.
#Patriots WR Julian Edelman (chest) will play vs. the #Bills, source said, but his snaps will hinge on how he feels. He may take less than his full allotment. Meanwhile, RB Rex Burkhead (foot) is a game-time decision.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 29, 2019
Injury Update: Rex Burkhead A Game-Time Decision, Julian Edelman Will Play
Rex Burkhead appeared ready to star in New England’s backfield prior to the foot injury. Sony Michel has struggled through the first three weeks of the season, recording just 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 45 attempts. While he’s fallen victim to poor blocking, he’s not the type of player capable of making guys miss in open space. Burkhead is far more elusive and figured to be the primary starter now that James Develin isn’t around to open up rushing lanes. Burkhead should still see a sizable portion of the carries if he plays, but this obviously isn’t Burkhead’s first time battling an injury.
If Burkhead misses time, don’t be surprised if James White sees a larger share of the running work. Sony Michel is only as good as his blocking, and the blocking isn’t going to be good in Week 4. James Develin, David Andrews, and Isaiah Wynn are all going to miss Week 4, and the Bills have one of the best defensive fronts in the league. Neither Michel nor White offer much upside in the running game, but White at least offers a reliable set of hands out of the backfield.
Outside of Tom Brady, nobody matters more to New England’s offense than Julian Edelman. Edelman has Brady’s unconditional trust and should see a huge workload against Buffalo’s impressive defense. The Super Bowl MVP might be hurting, but he’s one of the toughest players in the league. If he’s on the field, look for him to get a full workload and be the primary option in the passing game.
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