On Thursday afternoon, the NFL announced that New England Patriots would once again be hit with a early season suspension to one of their star players. Wide Receiver Julian Edelman is facing a four game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing substances policy.
Edelman has stated that he will appeal the suspension but as of right now, it would appear that Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will be without Edelman for their first four games, which are against the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins. The good thing for the Patriots is there is only one divisional game in those first four games of the regular season.
Edelman did not play last year, sitting on the sidelines with a torn ACL. Edelman tore his ACL in a preseason game and was unable to play in the 2017 season. In most situations, this would not be a big issue for the Patriots as they have been stacked with talent over the past few years but they have lost some talent at the Wide Receiver position over the offseason and now, this is a huge loss to their offense.
The Patriots traded Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams after just one season with Tom Brady. They also allowed Danny Amendola to walk away as a free agent and sign with their divisional foe Miami Dolphins. With Edelman out, that would put more pressure on TE Rob Gronkowski and Wide Receivers Chris Hogan, Jordan Matthews, Cordarrelle Patterson, Kenny Britt, Phillip Dorsett and Malcolm Mitchell. There is a lot of talent but they are all predominantly players that have sort of been second tier talent throughout their careers.
On Friday, Edelman denied any knowledge of taking any sort of banned substance in a public apology that was posted on Instagram. His apology read as follows:
“I am very sorry – I don’t know what happened. I’ve taken many, many tests obviously over the course of my career, and nothing like this has ever happened. I apologize to the Kraft Family, my coaches, teammates and fans. As this matter is being appealed, I can’t say anymore but no matter what, I will be ready to play and pursue another championship with our team and for Patriots fans around the world”.
Edelman was rehabbing his injury and Tom Brady’s controversial trainer, Alex Guerrero, facility TB12. Guerrero released a statement stating that his facility had nothing to do with Edelman’s failed test results. Guerrero stated that they use natural, holistic, and legal means to training and recovery for his clients. It should be noted that back in December, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick has denied any special privilege to Guerrero such as treating other New England Patriots players at the Gillette Stadium. It is not clear if that had anything to do with potential violations or if this was something completely separated from this incident.
The process will need to play itself out but for the time being, it appears that Edelman could miss the first four games of the regular season.