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Julian Edelman says ‘ask Bill’ when he might return to game action 08.25.15 at 5:17 pm ET
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Julian Edelman has been sidelined since early in camp with an ankle issue. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman has been sidelined since early in camp with an ankle issue. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It’s always a good sign when a Patriots player coming off an injury speaks to the media. It’s usually a sign that the player is ready to return to practice.

And with practice, comes the expectation of game action.

Such might be the case for receiver Julian Edelman, who suffered an ankle injury in the first week of training camp and has been rehabbing it ever since. Certainly, the Patriots aren’t going to take any unnecessary risks. But listening to Edelman speak before practice Tuesday, one gets the sense he would like a few snaps of live game action as the team conducts its regular season “dress rehearsal” Friday night in Charlotte against the Panthers.

“Ask Bill. We’re taking it day-by-day,” is all Edelman would offer in the locker room, referring all inquires to Bill Belichick. “I think I’m ten seconds better than [I was] in the last ten seconds so we’re good.

“Anytime you’re not able to go out there and play, yeah, it’s difficult. But it’s part of the game and I’m just working hard, doing everything I can each and every day to improve myself each and every day.”

Any way to gauge his game readiness based on practice and training room work?

“That’s one of those things where I don’t even have an answer for that. I don’t know. So, we’ll see,” he said.

If he is cleared to play Friday, he certainly will be excited for the chance to getting on the field for the first time since catching the game-winning touchdown from Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLIX.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Butler, New England Patriots
Resetting Patriots depth chart at wide receiver at 9:27 am ET
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Julian Edelman figures to be the No. 1 option at wide receiver for the Patriots. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman is still the No. 1 receiver for the Patriots. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

With Monday’s addition of Reggie Wayne, the decision to place Brandon Gibson on season-ending injured reserve and the decision to waive Brian Tyms (with an injury designation), it’s a good time to reset the Patriots depth chart at wide receiver, and what it all means going forward:

Julian Edelman: The unquestioned No. 1 receiver in the New England offense, if he’s healthy. While he was around for the first few camp practices, he’s been limited pretty much since the start of the preseason schedule. He’s missed both preseason games to this point in the summer. Danny Amendola has done well to fill Edelman’s (mostly) slot role this summer, and that time has actually appeared to help create an even greater cohesiveness between the quarterback and Amendola, particularly on those short routes over the middle that Edelman has thrived on in recent years.

Brandon LaFell: Once he was able to overcome a slow start, LaFell went on to have a terrific season with the Patriots, evolving nicely into a dependable intermediate (and occasional deep) threat who could provide a different dynamic to the New England passing game. However, he’s a colossal wild card at this point in the summer — he was in a protective boot for a sizable portion of the offseason, he started training camp on PUP, and has yet to step onto the practice field. If he’s able to get out there, he’s the closest thing this offense has to a No. 2 receiver. If not (and if he’s healthy enough in his own right), Reggie Wayne might move into LaFell’s old role on a part-time basis, as there is some offensive redundancy there. There’s also the chance that LaFell doesn’t start the regular-season on PUP, as the Patriots will have some roster flexibility because of LeGarrette Blount’s one-game ban to start the year. It’s also important to note that they’ve also simply utilized a 52-man roster in some similar cases as well while waiting for a guy to return to full strength. Stay tuned.

Danny Amendola: We’d consider Amendola the No. 3 receiver behind Edelman and LaFell. Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 190 pounds, the 29-year-old has parlayed a terrific finish to the 2014 regular season (as well as playoffs) to slam-dunk spot on the 2015 roster. Prior to Week 16 against the Jets last year, Amendola had 15 catches for 113 yards and one touchdown. In the last five games of the year (including the playoffs), he had 23 catches for 224 yards and three touchdowns, all while appearing to win back the trust of quarterback Tom Brady. While he managed to hoover up some of Edelman’s snaps at the slot position when he went down earlier this summer, he does have the positional versatility needed to play different spots. And despite the strong work from Harper, he still figures to be the No. 1 choice at the kick return spot this season.

Reggie Wayne: Even though the franchise hasn’t announced the move quite yet, Bill Belichick all but confirmed the news in a Monday afternoon appearance on WEEI. While it’s unclear what sort of role he’ll have with the Patriots and whether or not the soon-to-be-37-year-old has the skills to hold up over the course of a 16-game season, he’d likely provide some support when it comes to intermediate and deep routes. He’ll also provide some insurance in the short-term if LaFell is unable to go to start the season.

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Read More: Aaron Dobson, Brandon Gibson, Brandon LaFell, Brian Tyms
Source: Julian Edelman, Bryan Stork part of group working out at Gillette while rest of team is in West Virginia 08.19.15 at 12:37 pm ET
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Julian Edelman was part of a group who has apparently stayed behind in New England for rehab while the rest of the roster is in West Virginia for practices with the Saints. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman is part of a group that stayed behind in New England for rehab while the rest of the roster is in West Virginia for practices with the Saints. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

A group that included wide receivers Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson and Brandon LaFell, as well as offensive lineman Bryan Stork, showed up at Gillette Stadium for work Wednesday morning, according to a source.

The Patriots, who are taking part in joint practices with the Saints this week in West Virginia in advance of their second preseason game of the summer in New Orleans this weekend, apparently decided to leave a sizable portion of their offense behind in hopes that the group will continue to focus on rest and rehab prior to the start of the regular season.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about the protocol that goes into trying to decide which players to bring along for joint practices outside of New England and which players to leave behind for rest and rehab.

“It’s an individual conversation,” Belichick said earlier this week. “We talk about each player that would fall in that category, what would be the best thing for him, and then we have to utilize our resources. But it could go either way. Some guys we’ll take depending on their injury and situation; other guys we won’t. It’s really on a case-by-case basis. If we feel like we can get productive work with them and so forth, then that’s a reason to take him.

“But I don’t think anybody would recommend a lot of travel for somebody rehabbing from injury,” he added. “‘Here’s how you get better quick — travel, jump on a couple planes, fly around the country.’ So, that’s generally not part of the prescribed rehabilitation. But if there is good reason for the person to travel for them to get whatever work it is or do whatever it is wherever we are, then that’s something we would talk about.”

The biggest takeaway from this news? Don’t expect any of those players to suit up for the Patriots this weekend when New England faces the Saints in New Orleans. As a result, it should also give several youngster and other backups — like Chris Harper, Brandon Gibson and David Andrews — a shot at more playing time, and a greater opportunity to impress the coaching staff.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2015 Patriots Training Camp, Bryan Stork, Julian Edelman, Patriots
Julian Edelman on D&C: Patriots players ‘don’t really talk about’ Deflategate at all 08.17.15 at 7:38 am ET
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Wide receiver Julian Edelman checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning as part of this season’s first edition of WEEI’s Patriots Monday and said the team is not allowing Tom Brady‘s Deflategate suspension/appeal to be a distraction this preseason. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“We don’t even do anything to talk about it,” Edelman said of the controversy involving his quarterback. “Everyone’s worried about what they have to do for training camp and what everyone’s situation is. A guy trying to make the team, a guy trying to earn a role, a guy trying to get back on the field — all those types of things are going through the mind during training camp. It’s tough to think about other things. We don’t really talk about it at all, we’re just focused on trying to get better and take advantage of this training camp to to make our unit a cohesive unit.”

Bill Belichick is famous for his ability to focus his team on the task at hand, and Edelman said the coach’s message continues to get through.

“There’s something that coach always says: ‘€˜Who cares about what’s going on outside of the building that we’re in. Let’s just worry about what we have to do.’ That’s something we take pride in,” Edelman said. “All those things where you have all these distractions, this, that, everyone’s trying to make a story — we’re just trying to worry about … getting in the right formation and being able to execute under high-pressure situations. It’s one of those things.”

Added Edelman: “I don’t even think about it. I have my own thing on my own plate. You guys are going to keep on asking questions about it, but there’s nothing to ask about. It’s out of my control. There’s only one thing I can control, and that’s just trying to get better every day on the football field, trying to get on the football field.”

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Read More: Deflategate, Julian Edelman,
Julian Edelman, Brandon Bolden not spotted on field prior to Patriots-Packers 08.13.15 at 7:13 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The following players were not spotted on the field prior to Thursday’s Patriots-Packers game: wide receiver Brandon LaFell (PUP), wide receiver Aaron Dobson, wide receiver Julian Edelman, running back LeGarrette Blount, cornerback Tarell Brown, running back Dion Lewis, running back Brandon Bolden, running back Travaris Cadet, linebacker Dane Fletcher (PUP), linebacker Eric Martin, linebacker Darius Fleming, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, offensive lineman Ryan Wendell, offensive lineman Bryan Stork, offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann, defensive lineman Joe Vellano, offensive lineman Nate Solder, wide receiver Brian Tyms, tight end Jake Bequette, tight end Scott Chandler, defensive lineman Sealver Siliga and defensive lineman Alan Branch.

It’s worth noting just because some players were on the field in pads, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will play.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount,
Bill Belichick says Julian Edelman is ‘day-to-day’ 08.06.15 at 2:33 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Julian Edelman watch continued Thursday at Gillette Stadium.

The receiver left Sunday’s practice toward the end of the team’s second full pads workout. He appeared to be favoring a leg or foot.

After a day off Monday, he participated in the walkthrough portion of Tuesday’s full pads workout and then left for the Empower Field House.

“Day to day,” was the only update on Edelman’s condition from head coach Bill Belichick before practice Thursday.

Edelman was not spotted during Wednesday evening’s practice inside Gillette Stadium or on Thursday afternoon.

Teams are not required to disclose specific injuries to players during training camp.

Read More: 2015 Patriots Training Camp, Julian Edelman, New England Patriots,
Malcolm Butler gets beat by Aaron Dobson, Julian Edelman: ‘Play like my hair is on fire’ 08.02.15 at 4:39 pm ET
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Malcolm Butler speaks after Sunday Patriots practice. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Malcolm Butler speaks after Sunday Patriots practice. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — A Super Bowl-winning play won’t keep teammates from picking on Malcolm Butler in training camp.

Butler certainly was made aware of that on Sunday, during the second day of full pads training camp practice.

During 11-on-11 drills, Tom Brady lofted a ball deep down the right sideline for Aaron Dobson. The third-year receiver went airborne over Butler and came down with the ball.

“I know I was in good position,” Butler explained. “The sun out here, it’s shining real bright. I kind of lost the ball, too, at the same time. I think he bumped me a little bit but not to take any credit from Dobson, great play. When you have those opportunities, you just have to make them, you just have got to make them.”

Then later, in a red zone drill, Brady fired a seed to Julian Edelman, who was being defended by Butler. The defensive back lost his balance and fell to the ground. Edelman took the ball, went over to the prone Butler, face down. and placed the ball at his feet.

“I knew something was coming. I knew something was coming so I was expecting that,” Butler said of the Edelman gesture. “He didn’t saying anything. I knew it was just competitive and just playing around. But serious at the same time. Shook hands afterward.”

Message delivered?

“Yessir,” Butler laughed. “It’s going to get you a lot better. He’s got quick, fast get in and out of his breaks. Also, there are couple of other receivers. It’s not just Julian. We have Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, getting work from all those guys.”

Butler can laugh it off because his preparation is intense.

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Read More: 2015 Patriots Training Camp, Aaron Dobson, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Butler
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