FOXBORO – Julian Edelman’s on-field appearance in pads for the first portion of practice on Sunday almost certainly means he’ll be ready to play. In September.
Brake-tapping about Edelman’s recuperation is in order since the re-packing of the injured area in his right foot took place just a little more than three months ago. He may be able to run, cut, catch and be his elusive self but carrying tacklers and withstanding punishment in August is neither likely nor necessary.
But the fact Edelman’s at this spot now when Dallas’ Dez Bryant – who suffered the same Jones Fracture Edelman did and had the same second surgery as the Patriots wideout – was brought along more slowly is cause for optimism.
Edelman spoke to assembled media Sunday after practice. He didn’t take part in the intrasquad scrimmage the team held.
“I think any time you can go out and put pads on and practice before the season, I think it’s a good sign,” he said, adding. “It’s a good sign. It feels good, to get out here and get to see the fellas in pads and not get to see them after practice – that’s the fun thing about this time of the year."
Edelman proclaimed himself “day-to-day” and said the significance of his being out there was that, “You’ve got to get your football legs back in shape and you’ve got to have this extra weight on. It’s about seven pounds, so it’s good to get out here and run around with the pads and adjust to catching a ball with the shoulder pads, the helmet, the face mask; going out there and trying to get tired, as tired as possible with the pads on so you can get used to the games and stuff.”
With the Saints coming in for a joint practice Tuesday and a walkthrough Wednesday prior to Thursday night’s preseason game, it’s highly unlikely Edelman will be on the field much (if at all) during joint reps. Managing his return so there are no setbacks is the highest priority.
On Sunday, Edelman worked a little with Tom Brady in a one-on-one session prior to the team’s scrimmage.
Edelman had nothing to add to Brady’s decision to stand down in the face of the NFL’s four-game suspension.
“That’s all in the past,” he said. “I’m just worried about getting out here and trying to get myself into the best physical condition to go out here and try to help this team, so I’m worried about that.”
It seems Edelman – and the Patriots – have less to worry about these days than initially feared.
Tom E. Curran can be followed on Twitter: @tomecurran