The Patriots’ worst fears were confirmed Saturday.
An MRI revealed that wide receiver Julian Edelman, Tom Brady’s favorite target, suffered a complete ACL tear in his right knee, the MMQB’s Albert Breer first reported.
The Patriots announced later Saturday that Edelman will miss the season.
Edelman, who lead the Super Bowl champs in receptions and yards last season, injured his knee in New England’s 30-28 preseason win over the Lions Friday night.
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The injury occurred when the veteran receiver was tackled by Lions safety Tavon Wilson on the Patriots’ opening drive. After being evaluated in a blue tent behind the team’s bench, he was carted off the field.
“We’ve got great chemistry together, and he’s an incredible player,” Brady said. “But someone will have to step up.”
Brady posted a photo on Instagram Saturday of the two players embracing after the Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX win over the Seahawks with the caption: “Gladiator.”
Edelman, 31, who signed a two-year contract extension in June, has 425 catches and 24 touchdowns in eight seasons with the Patriots. He had a career-best 1,106 receiving yards in 2016.
How important is Edelman to the Patriots offense? The Pats have gone 84-19 (.816) in games Edelman has played in and just 15-10 (.600) without him, per ESPN Stats and Info.
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