HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05:  Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots reacts after missing a pass during the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons  Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

3 Reasons Patriots Fans Shouldn't Freak Out Over Julian Edelman's Suspension

On Tuesday, the NFL officially ruled that New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman's suspension for a PED violation will stand. Edelman tried appealing the matter, citing faulty handling of his sample and the fact that the substance that caused him to fail the drug test was not fully recognizable. Whether or not the appeal should have passed muster or not, the Patriots will begin the season without their star receiver. But here are three reasons why this shouldn't be of great concern to the defending AFC champs.

3. Braxton Berrios

The Pats selected Miami wide receiver Braxton Berrios in the sixth round of April's NFL Draft, a touchdown machine who haled in nine scores despite being paired with an unspectacular quarterback in Malik Rosier. The U product is talented both from the slot and on the outside, and if we have learned anything from the Bill Belichick era, it is that he can make stars out of undersized but reliable slot guys.

2. Slow Start Last Season

New England started last season 2-2 in their first four games, losing to the Chiefs and Panthers. Did everything collapse for them afterward? Of course not. Brady and Belichick are still Brady and Belichick. They finished the year 13-3 and won the AFC. Without Edelman for those first four games, another 2-2 start is possible. And we should all assume they'd bounce right back from it in due time.

1. Stacked Running Back Committee

James White. Jeremy Hill. Rex Burkhead. Mike Gillislee. Sony Michel. Aside from the rookie Michel, who could be the best of the bunch, each member of this veteran trio has posted at least one season putting up over 500 yards from scrimmage. White is essentially another receiver for the Patriots, while Burkhead can take advantage of short yardage situations and Hill and Gillislee give the Patriots needed depth. Belichick knows how to manage running back committees and put each guy in the ideal position to succeed. 2018 will be no different.