BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots offense has fallen on some tough times, with Cam Newton trying to figure out a new system. Trying to put it all together just got a lot harder for the quarterback, with Julian Edelman set to miss some time after undergoing surgery on his knee.

Outside of Week 2 in Seattle, the Newton-Edelman connection hasn’t been a great one for the Patriots this season. But Edelman is much more than just a receiver, as Newton explained during his Thursday afternoon video conference.

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What the Patriots missed most about Edelman’s presence on the practice field on Thursday was the veteran’s wisdom, according to Newton.

“He’s my guy. His presence was missed today and what he brings to this team, he’s more than an unsung hero,” said Newton. “He’s everything the Patriots represent. Heart. Tough. Resilient. Gritty. That’s Julian Edelman.”

Edelman’s absence will certainly be felt, and when you add in the likelihood that N’Keal Harry will also miss the game,  Newton is going to have very few receivers to throw the ball to when the Patriots take on the Bills in Buffalo. New England’s current depth chart at receiver has caught just 25 passes this season, led by 18 receptions from Damiere Byrd, five catches by Jakobi Meyers, and one each by Gunner Olszewski and Isaiah Zuber.

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But the lack of experience of his receivers isn’t something that concerns Newton heading into a must-win against the Bills.

“I have all confidence in whoever is out there and wherever the read takes me. That’s where the ball is going to go. If it’s not Julian, if it’s not Butt (Byrd), I have to be ready to rock and roll and get the ball out and make good decisions,” he said.

Newton’s options in the air will be limited on Sunday, and with it set to be a rainy and windy afternoon in Buffalo, expect a lot of New England’s offensive attack to come on the ground.

Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Bills matchup on WBZ-TV! Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and after the game stay tuned for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!

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