Patriots' Julian Edelman suffers torn ACL, per reports

New England Patriots: 5 Julian Edleman replacements to trade for

New England Patriots: 5 Julian Edleman replacements to trade for

An MRI Saturday has confirmed that Edelman tore the ACL in his right knee, which means he will miss the 2017 season in its entirety as a result, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Just when people had the New England Patriots penciled in to repeat as Super Bowl champions, an injury to a key contributor struck. "So I feel badly for him, of course", Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Saturday.

How important was Edelman to the Patriots' offense last season? "It's unfortunate but that's the way it is, so we'll have to figure that out".

Edelman, 31, suffered the injury while running an in-breaking route, beating linebacker Jarrad Davis and catching the ball at Detroit's 29-yard line. He was seen reaching to the back of his right knee while on the ground and limped to the sideline before a cart took him back to the locker room.

It will have to be similar to how the Patriots have adjusted without tight end Rob Gronkowski in recent years because there isn't a one-for-one replacement for Edelman and the rapport he's built with quarterback Tom Brady over the past eight years.

Edelman has been with the Patriots his entire career. Edelman has caught 397 career passes from Brady, third most in team history, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The Patriots now have Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Matthew Slater as the wideouts with undrafted rookie Austin Carr on the bubble. Edelman has earned more than nine targets per game over the last four seasons and has averaged more than 11 yards per catch the past five years.

Edelman, whose spectacular fourth-quarter reception helped the Patriots' record comeback win in the Super Bowl in February, signed a two-year contract extension earlier this year.

New England also cut defensive end Kony Ealy, whom it acquired in a trade with Carolina in March.

The 28-year-old Hogan is now in his fifth season overall and second with the Patriots. "It just didn't work out for either one of us like we hoped it would".

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