The New England Patriots are into their first week of padded practice, and they’re already shorthanded at the wide receiver position. N’Keal Harry has been absent two straight days at training camp and Julian Edelman has been sidelined by something midway through the week.
Something to keep an eye on - Julian Edelman appeared to do something to his right leg during a 4-on-4 drill early in practice, took one rep in 1-on-1s and didn't tale another rep all day. Was also seen lightly riding the bike at one point. #Patriots @nflnetwork— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) August 20, 2020
Julian Edelman is certainly dealing with something early in camp. Was limited Tuesday and then after an incompletion from Newton in 4vs3 drills early in practice he threw his helmet and then went to trainer. Took one rep rest of practice and spent most of it on one knee.— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) August 20, 2020
This is problematic for a couple reasons. The first is those two are the top receivers on the Patriots depth chart. Mohamed Sanu and Damiere Byrd are among those who move up with the injuries, but it hurts the team’s depth.
The second issue is what it means for the quarterback competition. Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, and Brian Hoyer are competing for the starting role, and playing with a less than optimal receiver corps does not help matters. It hurts the caliber of pass catcher across the board, and means more reps for further sub-par players.
Edelman’s ADP s currently 33rd among wide receivers and 82nd overall. Harry’s ADP is 59th among receivers and 155th overall. Sanu is 84th among receivers and this could result in a modest bump for him until we know more about the status of Edelman and Harry.