Julian Edelman wouldn't admit it after Sunday's win over the Dolphins, but it sounds as though he is, in fact, the emergency quarterback for the Patriots. And according to one report, he's grinding this week to prepare to take snaps behind center against the Texans.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, "it may actually happen."
The #Patriots have done extensive preparation over the past few days to get WR Julian Edelman ready as the backup QB. It may actually happen— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 21, 2016
Asked over the weekend if he could play quarterback due to his understanding of the offense and his experience behind center, Edelman was dismissive. At Kent State, where he started for three seasons, he threw for nearly 5,000 yards, 30 touchdowns and 31 interceptions.
"No. No, don’t get that construed out there," Edelman said. "Did I use that right? Those (quarterbacks), you can’t take anything from those guys. They throw the ball so well. I play receiver for a reason."
Edelman does have one pass attempt in the books at the NFL level, which Patriots fans -- and Tom Brady -- remember well. It went for 51 yards and score to fellow receiver Danny Amendola in a win over the Ravens in the Divisional Round of the playoffs two seasons ago.
Soon after fill-in starter Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a shoulder injury against the Dolphins on Sunday, former assistant to the Patriots coaching staff Mike Lombardi tweeted that Edelman "will have to be the emergency QB now." Former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien said during a conference call on Tuesday that when he was with the team, he worked with Edelman on some Wildcat plays.
Edelman's preparation to play quarterback may go for naught if Jacoby Brissett is able to play effectively, or if Garoppolo is active and can suit up. But the Patriots usually have contingencies for their contingencies. And if anything were to happen to either full-time quarterback -- or if the Patriots simply want to throw an unexpected look at the Texans -- Edelman could return to his collegiate position.
Given the unusual circumstances surrounding Patriots quarterbacks at the moment, that he's working on it comes as no surprise.