BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady got his buddy back on Monday, as Julian Edelman’s four-game suspension came to an end and he was finally eligible to rejoin the New England Patriots.

Edelman won’t have to wait too much longer to make his season debut, either, as the Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football. The receiver hasn’t practiced with the team since the end of training camp, and he hasn’t seen the field in a meaningful football game since Super Bowl LI.

But that doesn’t mean the Patriots are getting a lesser version of Edelman when he returns to action Thursday night.

“He hasn’t changed a bit,” Brady told reporters Monday. “Four weeks off, he looks good.”

Coming back from a torn ACL that ended his 2017 season before it began, and the four-game PED suspension that pushed that long-awaited return back another month, Edelman will probably be running through walls at Gillette Stadium leading up to Thursday night’s game. Brady doesn’t think his security blanket will miss a beat, thanks to their lengthy history of connecting on the field.

“We’ve played so much football together, I really have no doubt of where he’s going to be at and what he’s be capable of. He’s been a great player for our team and everyone is excited to have him back,” Brady said of his most reliable receiver of the last five years. “Any time you have great players, it’s going to help what we’re doing. We all welcome him back and he’s excited and ready to go. Hopefully he can come play great and we can all play great.”

Patriots receivers had struggled to get open to start the season before they appeared to right the ship Sunday afternoon in a 38-7 blowout win over Miami. Brady and Edelman have a sort of sixth sense with each other, seemingly knowing what the other will do on the fly. It’s kind of creepy at times (especially off the field), but almost always leads to good things for the Patriots.

“When he’s out there, I know his body language and his ability to get open — my confidence in him. He gets open so quick, his explosiveness in the routes, it’s so comforting for a quarterback to see a guy get open early in his routes,” said Brady. “Hopefully it’s a smooth transition.”

The Patriots as a whole will try to make it a smooth week. It’s never easy to get ready for a football game in just three days, but Thursday Night Football is nothing new, and the Patriots will be ready when kickoff rolls around.

“By the end of the week, or the prep for it, we have everything in. To me, it’s a frame of mind. You do the best you can to get ready, and they have the same amount of time. That’s where the competition is,” said Brady. “The team that prepares the best and gives themselves the best opportunity to win.”


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