Dez Bryant and Julian Edelman suffered similar foot injuries in 2015 and have gone through nearly identical steps to repair them for 2016.
The biggest difference? Bryant had a second surgery to further stabilize his foot in January. Edelman didn’t have his done until April.
So, the news that Bryant was just cleared to begin football drills on Wednesday is relevant in New England. It took Bryant five months to get clearance to merely run and cut. If it takes five months for Edelman and his left foot to be cleared, that would put his timeline to begin doing the same things in mid-September.
Obviously, everyone heals at different rates and one must allow for differences between the procedures the two players had done. And sources have expressed confidence that Edelman will be ready for training camp.
In what capacity he’s ready, we’ll find out in the next few months. Obviously, Edelman cannot rush his return. Training camp and preseason games pale in comparison to regular season games.
But the landscape in Foxboro right now, with Tom Brady’s suspension reinstated, Jimmy Garoppolo in line to start the first four games and Edelman – if we use the Bryant timeline as a comp – being unavailable longer than first projected can’t be encouraging for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
The obvious question is, why didn’t Edelman have surgery sooner? As I understand it, he hoped it would improve given rest once the season ended. After a period of rest, Edelman resumed running and cutting but didn’t feel comfortable with the way the foot felt when cutting to his left and pushing off the outside of the foot.
Edelman’s frequently been seen in a walking boot this spring.
Without Edelman and Danny Amendola (who also had offseason surgery) the wide receiver landscape the media saw at last week’s OTA was comprised of mostly newcomers with the exception of Aaron Dobson, Keshawn Martin and Chris Harper. Chris Hogan, Nate Washington and rookie Malcolm Mitchell would seem the prime players who’ll benefit from the additional reps as they enter the system.