In focus: Julian Edelman’s on-field impact this season
|11.01.11 at 12:49 pm ET|
When it comes to on-field production, Julian Edelman‘s stock had been dropping since before the alleged incident at a Boston-area bar on Tuesday morning.
The 25-year-old, a seventh-round pick out of Kent State in 2009, caught three passes in four games with the Patriots this season, registering 25 yards. While he was the teams primary kick and punt returner over the first six games of the season, he had seen a dramatic decrease in his playing time over the course of the season — he played a season-high 23 snaps in the Week 3 loss to Buffalo according to Pro Football Focus, but was on the field for no more than 17 snaps the rest of the way (Week 4 against Oakland, where he injured his ankle), and was a healthy scratch last Sunday against the Steelers.
The Patriots issued a statement regarding the situation surrounding Edelman Tuesday afternoon, saying they were ‘aware of the reports’ involving Edelman, but would ‘defer any comment to his representatives at this time.’
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Edelman on his Tuesday afternoon conference call.
‘I don’t think we have enough information to comment on that right now,’ he said.
Based on the legal outcome, it wouldn’t be out of the realm if the Patriots decide to sit Edelman for a game or two. In that context, it’s probably not surprising that both Belichick and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien talked Tuesday about getting second-year wide receiver Taylor Price more involved in the offense going forward.
‘He’s practiced well,’ O’Brien said of Price. ‘We need to get him in there more. He’s done a good job in practice and he’s a guy we’ve got to give some more reps to in the game.’
While Edelman has been the primary kick and punt returner this season, the Patriots have also leaned on running backs Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead as kick returners, and Wes Welker as a punt returner.