This is definitely not going to make Tom Brady or Bill Belichick thrilled.
Due to tearing his ACL in the preseason against the Detroit Lions in 2017, Julian Edelman missed the entire season. Unable to compete in the Super Bowl, the talented wideout waited months to receive his shot at redemption. Now, that chance for a bounce-back season is on hold.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the two-time champion is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's performance enhancing substance policy.
Patriots WR Julian Edelman is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing substances policy, league sources tell @FieldYates and me. Suspension is under appeal.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 7, 2018
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Ouch, that has to absolutely sting for the Patriots.
With Brandin Cooks out of the picture in New England, the majority of Brady's targets were projected to be heading Rob Gronkowski and Edelman's way. After all, the last time Edelman was healthy he finished with over 1,100 yards receiving.
If his appeal fails, the Pats will need Chris Hogan, Jordan Matthews, and the rest of their cast to increase their workload.
Patriots WRs (with Julian Edelman facing four-game suspension, per @AdamSchefter and @FieldYates):— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 7, 2018
Considering New England's long history of winning, there's a strong chance they survive this four-game absence. However, their production in the slot will undoubtedly take a hit because of this mistake by Julian Edelman.
Edelman is currently appealing the suspension, hoping to follow in the footsteps of Richard Sherman in 2012, another star who fought and won after being popped.