Julian Edelman Took Another Beating in the Patriots’ Win over the Jets

He probably can't keep this up for much longer.

Julian Edelman by Jeffrey Beall on Flickr/Creative Commons

Julian Edelman by Jeffrey Beall on Flickr/Creative Commons

Almost every week, Julian Edelman seems to remind us how hard-hitting and unforgiving professional football is. Sunday’s contest against the New York Jets was no different.

With 3:53 remaining in the second quarter, Tom Brady dumped the ball off to Edelman—as he often does when he’s looking to jumpstart the Patriots’ offense. But as soon as Edelman caught the ball on the Jets’ 20-yard line, he was leveled by cornerback Buster Skrine.

In an especially cruel twist, the play didn’t even count. Right tackle Cameron Fleming was flagged for holding and the Patriots were set back 10 yards. Edelman took all of that punishment for nothing.

But yet, he didn’t miss a single snap. Brady went back right back to Edelman on the following play, and he dropped a pass over the middle of the field—perhaps because he was still reeling from Skrine’s hit. A few minutes later, Edelman returned a Jets punt 10 yards to set up a Patriots field goal that closed out the first half. His toughness is commendable, but also reckless. The human body, especially Edelman’s 5-foot-10 frame, isn’t meant to take that kind of pounding.

The scene at Gillette Stadium Sunday wasn’t all that dissimilar to what happened in the fourth quarter of last season’s Super Bowl. With 10:58 remaining in regulation, Edelman took a ferocious helmet-to-helmet hit from Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor after he caught a pass, and actually tried to run instead of staying on the ground.


Edelman remained in the game for the rest of the drive and was targeted two more times. He reportedly didn’t undergo a concussion test until after the possession had ended. (It must’ve been a brief one, though, considering the Seahawks only held the ball for 55 seconds before Edelman ran back out for punt return duty.)

Edelman’s predecessor Wes Welker knows how fleeting a slot receiver’s stardom can be. Welker is currently out of the league after suffering three concussions in less than one year. He’s only 34 years old, and just two seasons removed from a 73-catch campaign.

Much like Welker, Edelman is Brady’s favorite receiver. Brady is on pace to target Edelman more than 130 times for the third consecutive year; he threw to Welker 120 or more times in six straight seasons.

It may be a blast to watch Edelman now, whether he’s taking big hits or showing off a mangled pinky finger. But at the rate this is going, we probably won’t be able to for much longer. As Welker has shown us, this kind of high-wire act can end suddenly.