Julian Edelman suffered a torn ACL on the Patriot’s opening drive against the Detroit Lions yesterday, and he’ll miss the entire season. Edelman caught 98 balls for 1,106 yards last season. He’s been a security blanket for Tom Brady for a few years now. Who could forget the play he made in the Super Bowl that saved the Patriots, ultimately leading them to become Super Bowl champions.
This could be considered a big loss for the Patriots, and while it’s never easy to lose your leading receiver, the Patriots will be just fine without him. The Patriots have such a deep roster, and one player isn’t going to stop them from being dominant. They’ve never let losing a player stop them before, so why would they start now?
Let’s not forget who’s still the quarterback for this team. While speaking of the injury to Edelman, Tom Brady said, “We’ve got great chemistry together, and he’s an incredible player, but someone will have to step up.” He’s right, someone will have to step up, but it won’t be a problem.
When Tom Brady was out for the first four games last season, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett stepped in and filled the position. Both Garoppolo and Brissett did a great job of keeping the team afloat while Brady was out. We’re talking about replacing arguably the greatest NFL quarterback of all time, and they stepped in and balled like it was no problem.
I feel like losing Edelman is much less of a blow than not having Brady. It wasn’t a problem replacing their quarterback, and it won’t be a problem replacing their leading receiver. Patriots players step up, it’s what they do.
Who Steps Up With the Loss of Edelman?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Rob Gronkowski is back and healthy. We know that when Gronk is healthy, he’s going to ball. Gronkowski is going to play well every game. He’ll step up, but he always steps up, even when they don’t need him to.
The trade for Brandin Cooks looks even better now. Cooks is a guy who can simply out run most people. He’s had over 1,100 receiving yards each of the last two seasons. I don’t expect any step back from him. He takes the top off the defense. He’s always a threat to make a big play. Cooks can take some of the load for Edelman, but he plays a different style than Edelman does. He’s going to be a heavily used weapon for Tom Brady, but the receivers who really need to step up, are Danny Amendola and Christ Hogan.
Amendola and Hogan will get a lot more looks now that Edelman is out. Hogan was solid last season, making the most of his opportunities. He caught 38 passes for 680 yards. His opportunity will increase, so look for him to have a big season. Amendola had an okay season, catching 23 passes for 243 yards. I expect both receivers to have an increased amount of opportunities, which will lead to increased stats.
There are plenty of other weapons available to Tom Brady also. Dwayne Allen, Malcolm Mitchell, James White, Rex Burkhead, etc. I don’t think it ever really matters who’s on the field for Belichick. He’s going to win regardless.
Tom Brady and the rest of the New England Patriots are going to come in and do their thing as if nothing ever happened. They didn’t have Gronkowski for a long period of time last season, and what did they do? They won the Super Bowl. I expect the Patriots to put the loss of Julian Edelman past them, and play their way to another 12+ win season just like they always do.
Again, Julian Edelman is great. It hurts to lose a player like that, but the Patriots won’t seem much different without him on the field. No Edelman, no problem.