BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots will begin the 2017 season already having to overcome a major injury, as Julian Edelman went down with a torn ACL during the team’s third preseason game. With Edelman out for the entire season, the Patriots now need to do things a little differently in their attempts to replace him.
The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday to talk about the injury and what the Patriots can do to overcome it. They will ultimately be OK thanks to their depth, but Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will still have to adjust to life without Edelman, who was the true engine of the offense.
“When they draw up their gameplans and they try to attack an opponent’s weaknesses, Edelman is the guy who helps kick-start the whole thing,” said Howe. “He is the guy that they can use in a million different situations.”
The Patriots could simply run the same offense with someone else in Edelman’s role, such as Danny Amendola. But Howe also sees the Patriots trying “creative” new ways to run the offense without him, incorporating other receivers into similar plays that Edelman would have run.
“I think you’re going to see some of those short passes go to Brandin Cooks a little more often this year, and Chris Hogan has had just a monster summer – practice and preseason now – and I think he can do some of the same things that Edelman does,” said Howe. “You’ve got to be a little more creative with how you want to attack a defense when you don’t have Edelman in uniform.”
Listen to the full podcast with Jeff Howe above!