Patriots star receiver Edelman out for season after knee injury

AFP
New England Patriots star receiver Julian Edelman will miss the upcoming NFL season after suffering a serious knee injury, the team confirmed on Saturday.
AFP

New England Patriots star receiver Julian Edelman will miss the upcoming National Football League season after suffering a serious knee injury, the team confirmed on Saturday.

Edelman, 31, reportedly tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during New England's preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Friday.

"#Patriots confirm Julian Edelman suffered an injury to his right knee in last night's game and will miss the 2017 season," the team said in a post on Twitter.

The injury came in a non-contact incident in the team's opening drive. Edelman limped from the field before being ferried back to the locker room on a medical cart.

The news is a huge blow to the reigning Super Bowl champions. Edelman has been quarterback Tom Brady's favored receiver over the past four seasons, gathering 356 receptions for 3,826 yards and 20 touchdowns in that period.

Edelman also pulled off a miracle catch in the Super Bowl last season to help the Patriots secure their record come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

"Julian is a great competitor, works hard, is tough, does all the things that you ask him to do," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on Saturday. "So I feel badly for him, of course.

"We feel badly for Julian and hope that he will have speedy and complete recovery. But the team will have to move on, and we'll have to compete in this season without him.

"That's unfortunate, but that's the way it is. And we'll have to figure that out."

Brady reacted to news of Edelman's injury on Saturday by posting a picture of the two players locked in an embrace with a simple one-word caption: "Gladiator."

Other Patriots were similarly stunned by the news. Receiver Danny Amendola posted a message of support on Twitter.

"Any alley, any trench, on any field... I fight with my brother. Always," Amendola wrote.

Edelman's popularity across the NFL ensured even players from rival teams offered words of support, notably the Seattle Seahawks defensive stalwart Richard Sherman.

"Damn hate to see that happen. I'm praying for a fast recovery for @edelman11! Hard worker and great competitor," Sherman wrote.

AFP

Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots runs for yards after a first-quarter catch against the Detroit Lions during a preseason game at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, on August 25, 2017. Edelman, 31, reportedly tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the game and, as a result, will miss the upcoming National Football League season, the team confirmed on August 26, 2017.

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