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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

That's A Wrap On Julian Edelman's 2012 Season, I Hope That He Enjoyed It

Will Julian Edelman ever play 16 games in an NFL regular season? That's the inevitable question you have to ask yourself at this moment although truth be told, we probably won't need to bother with thoughts like that soon enough. After appearing in 15 games in 2010 and 13 games last season, his 2012 is over with only nine games under his belt.

Today, New England's third wide receiver and main punt returner was placed on season-ending IR with a broken foot that requires surgery. He injured it on Sunday in Miami on what seemed to be a pretty harmless play. That news has to leave him devastated since not only was this something of a breakout season for him but he's also heading into free agency this winter so he probably just lost a decent amount of money.

We all know that it was a joke when the Patriots tried to faze Wes Welker out of the offense at the beginning of the season and make Edelman into Welker 2.0. The results were laughable since Edelman isn't half the slot receiver that Welker is. With that said, I can admit that in the last few weeks, Edelman finally seemed to have found a role on a Super Bowl contender: jack of all trades.

Against the Colts on November 18, he piled up seven catches for 58 yards and a touchdown, a 47-yard run and a touchdown on a punt return. He followed that up with another pair of scores the next game against the Jets: he had three catches for 64 yards and a touchdown plus he returned a fumble on New York's kickoff return for a touchdown. For the season, he had 21 catches on 32 targets for 235 yards and three touchdowns. On 17 punt returns, he had 263 yards for an average of 15.5 yards (2nd best in the NFL) and a touchdown.

His absence will probably be noticed most on special teams, primarily punt returns where now Welker ironically should slide into his role. This is why Donte' Stallworth was re-signed, although obviously they play much different roles and are nowhere close to the same player. Bigger picture, you have to wonder if this has changed New England's thinking in regards to Welker's contract situation. They tried to groom Edelman to be his replacement but clearly he's not up to the job for two main reasons-injuries and skill. Why not make everyone happy and bring back the man himself? Just some food for thought on a quiet Tuesday.

The Patriots also released offensive lineman Mitch Petrus and signed offensive linemen Tommie Draheim and Colin Miller to the practice squad.

UPDATE 12/6: Petrus was signed by Tennessee. Haha so many teams scoop up their useless scraps right after New England lets them go, it never gets old.

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