By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots lost the Super Bowl. It was a big-time bummer for those involved. But, there is plenty of reason for optimism for the near future.

Tom Brady will be back in 2018, and presumably so will Rob Gronkowski. And if Julian Edelman returns to that offense at full speed with full health? Whoa, Nelly. Those fellas are fixing to put up a lot of points.

And in that quest to return to the gridiron after tearing his ACL in August, the 31-year-old Edelman appears to be making some significant strides.

Edelman posted a short video to his Instagram page on Wednesday with a simple caption: “determined.”

determined.

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

Running in a straight line while being leashed with a resistance band by a trainer isn’t exactly the same as running routes with the burst and precision that Edelman is known for running. But now six months removed from the surgery and six-plus months away from Week 1 of the 2018 season, Edelman appears to be in a decent place in his recovery. A torn ACL is not the 12-month injury it used to be, but still, each individual human being is different, and so nothing should ever be assumed with regard to a return to playing shape.

If he keeps up the pace, before you know it he’ll be running shirtless routes in the second season of “Tom Vs. Time” and getting roasted by his quarterback for being “naked on magazines.”

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