Season-ending injuries are nothing new in the NFL.
Last year, nobody thought the New England Patriots would win the Super Bowl without injured star tight end Rob Gronkowski, but they did.
Now the Patriots have suffered yet another catastrophic blow for the upcoming season.
Just recently, the Miami Dolphins lost Ryan Tannehill for the season, which forced them to look for another quarterback because their backups weren’t cutting it.
No, they didn’t sign Colin Kaepernick – he still remains without a team, thankfully.
But they did sign disgraced, used-goods Jay Cutler to lead the team.
The old NFL saying “next man up” is a convenient catch phrase but some of these players are just irreplaceable.
Julian Edelman is one of those people.
Unfortunately, the star wide receiver tore his ACL and has now been officially ruled out for the 2017-18 season.
And his absence could end up being way more catastrophic than Gronkowski’s last year.
USA Today reports:
“Now that the New England Patriots have announced Julian Edelman’s torn ACL, the team knows they will find themselves without the heart and soul of their offense in Julian Edelman.
That’s right, Edelman is the Patriots most important offensive weapon.
Rob Gronkowski challenged for, and probably held that title prior to last season, when the Patriots won Super Bowl LI, and finished 8-0 after Gronkowski was lost for the season with a back injury.
Don’t believe me? Why don’t you check out this stat by ESPN Stats & Info down below.
Julian Edelman has been key for Tom Brady since entering the NFL in 2009. With him, Brady’s TD-INT ratio is 4.9. It falls to 1.7 without him pic.twitter.com/HbgYxJ7EVI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 26, 2017
Edelman is the internal motor of the team’s wiley veterans that have stayed with the club throughout much of the 2010’s.
That notion is highlighted not only by the Patriots unusual injury announcement, but also by the outpouring support on social media from [Danny Amendola].
— Danny Amendola (@DannyAmendola) August 26, 2017
Emotionally, the Patriots lost a major asset in Edelman.
On the football field, Tom Brady lost his security blanket, third down weapon, and possibly best friend on the team.
After starting off 9-0 with the offense in tact in 2015, the Patriots lost Edelman during a 27-26 victory over the New York Giants. After narrowly beating the Buffalo Bills the next week (to go to 10-0), the team then finished 2-4 in the regular season, losing out on the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
The Patriots were decimated by injuries then, including losing running backs LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis. Danny Amendola stepped up in Edelman’s absence, but nonetheless the red-hot Patriots offense was handicapped, and cooled off down the stretch.
The thing is, no one on the Patriots run slot option routes as well as Edelman. As good as Amendola is, he’s not as quick as Edelman. Amendola is more of the Wes Welker-type, meaning he really is only consistently effective in the slot.
Although Edelman is most effective out of the slot, he also serves as a Z-type receiver (or flanker) that runs in motion and sometimes run down-field routes.
Edelman’s speed, quickness and overall awareness make him a threat more than just in the short middle of the field.”
Nobody can predict an injury obviously, but maybe the NFL should reconsider how many preseason games they play—because nobody wants to see a star player absent for an entire season over a preventable injury.