Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is recovering from a broken thumb he suffered roughly three weeks ago, NFL Media reported Thursday, citing unidentified sources.
The report said Edelman sustained the injury “playing catch” some three weeks ago. Given the typical six-week window for broken bones to heal, he is expected to miss just a few more weeks and be ready for the Patriots’ regular-season opener against the Steelers on Sept. 8, though he may not play in the preseason.
The injury was described as a “mild trauma” when it was first reported by ESPN earlier this week.
Edelman opened last season on a four-game suspension for PED use. He caught 74 passes for 850 yards and six touchdowns upon his return and was named the Super Bowl MVP in the Patriots’ win over Rams.
With tight end Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, Edelman, 33, likely is set up to be Tom Brady’s top target in 2019 — if he can stay healthy.
In 2017, Edelman missed the entire season after he tore his ACL in the preseason. He also missed seven games in 2015 and two in 2014 due to injuries. In fact, in a 10-year NFL career, he has played a full 16-game regular-season games only twice while compiling 499 catches for 5,390 yards and 30
Nonetheless, he signed a two-year contract extension worth $18 million in May after he caught 10 passes for 141 yards to earn the Super Bowl MVP honors.