When word emerged that Julian Edelman left the lockerroom in crutches and a walking boot following Sunday's game against the Dolphins, we weren't sure what to expect. There weren't many indications that the injury was serious, but apparently, it was.
NFL sources have told WBZ-TV's Dan Roche that Julian Edelman has a broken foot that will likely require surgery and will likely have him head to the injured reserve list.
With Edelman out, the Patriots are paper thin at receiver. They currently have top receivers Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd healthy, but not much behind them. However, reports yesterday indicated that the team has opted to bring back veteran receiver Donte Stallworth, which should help lessen the blow of losing Edelman.
The Patriots could also look into re-signing Deion Branch at some point, assuming he can make a full recovery from his hamstring injury by the end of the year.
As for Edelman's development, this injury is really bad timing. He was finally beginning to emerge as a legitimate playmaker and receiving threat for the Patriots, but has now suffered another setback. He finishes the year with 21 catches for 235 yards and three touchdowns. He's scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent following the year, and it's tough to say how far the team would go to sign him back.
And while the Patriots may be able to replace Edelman's production in the receiving game, it'll be tough to match what he meant to them on special teams. Edelman was valuable in coverage units, and was also the team's top punt returner.