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Patriots Julian Edelman Playing Larger Role Against the Colts

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The Patriots rolled the Colts without the help of their most important wide receiver. Now they have him back.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Getting lost in the discussion about the upcoming game between the Patriots and the Colts is the return of one of the most important players on either roster. In the first game, the Colts were playing without Art Jones, Dwayne Allen was injured, and Vontae Davis was battling with a knee injury. The Patriots didn't have Chandler Jones or Sealver Siliga on defense, while Akeem Ayers, Jonathan Casillas, and Alan Branch had all recently just joined the team.

This isn't about getting any of those listed players involved. This is about Julian Edelman.

It might be surprising, but Julian Edelman only played in 35 of a possible 73 snaps after falling awkwardly and injuring his thigh in the first quarter. It's highly likely that the Patriots opted to commit to a run heavy attack once his injury was obviously impacting his play.

Edelman is Tom Brady's favorite wide receiver and having him at under 50% is a clear issue for offensive production and success. His return to the offense at 100% changes how the Patriots can operate and will allow New England to play a much more balanced and multiple attack against the Colts.