The Patriots may have to start another season without one of Tom Brady’s go-to guys. According to league sources, Julian Edelman is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing substance policy. Edelman has taken hundreds of drug tests in the past, and this is his first issue with the results.
Patriots WR Julian Edelman is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing substances policy, league sources tell @FieldYates and me. Suspension is under appeal.
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— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 7, 2018
If the suspension stands, Edelman will miss the first four weeks of the regular season. This means he will not take part in the Patriots’ season opener at Gillette against the Houston Texans, two away games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions, and a home game against the Miami Dolphins.
There is no doubt that Edelman is a difference maker for the Patriots offense, and the numbers show that his presence on the field will be missed. Brady’s touchdown to interception ratio is 5.9 with Edelman on the field, and 4.7 without him. Brady’s quarterback rating also takes a slight hit without Number 11 present, dropping from 79 to 65.
The results of the appeal are forthcoming, and there is no information about what drug caused Edelman to fail the test. It is rare to get a suspension like this overturned, but that does not mean it is impossible. Richard Sherman was successful in his appeal against a four-game suspension in 2012. If Edelman does not overturn the suspension, he is also looking at losing almost $500 thousand in addition to to the hit to his reputation that will come with the charges.
Edelman suffered a season ending injury during the 2017 preseason game against the Detroit Lions. MRI’s confirmed he had torn his right knee and had to sit out during the entirety of the season. Edelman has since recovered from the injury and participated in OTAs and minicamp with the team.