Earlier this month, ESPN’s Field Yates broke the news that New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was facing a four-game suspension for the alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. A few days later, a second report came out – this time by the MMQB’s Albert Breer – that the suspension was based on a substance that was unrecognizable during the testing process.
This will now become a key argument in Edelman’s appeals process. The hearing, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano, will take place later today and see the 32-year old and his legal team present two key points which they argue exonerate him: Not only will they claim that an unrecognizable substance does not warrant a suspension, they will also point out that the league mishandled the documentation and delivery of Edelman’s test results.
The Patriots will of course watch the whole process closely: Edelman, who spent all of the 2017 season on injured reserve due to a torn ACL, is the team’s most experienced wide receiver and a member of quarterback Tom Brady’s “circle of trust.” As such, he is once again projected to play an important role on the offense in 2018 – even more so considering the turnover the wide receiver position saw this offseason.