The New England Patriots will go into Sunday's must-win Week 8 game against the rival Buffalo Bills without their best wide receiver, and it's unknown how much longer he'll be sidelined beyond that.
Julian Edelman reportedly underwent a knee procedure Thursday. The veteran wideout has been on the injury report throughout the 2020 season and hasn't looked fully healthy in recent weeks.
An official timetable for Edelman's return has not been released, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick did give an update during his Friday morning video press conference.
“We’ll see how the return goes. I don’t think this is a season-ending situation, but we’ll see. I’m not a doctor," Belichick said.
"Hopefully, he’ll be back. He’s worked awfully hard. Nobody is more competitive than Julian is. He’ll do everything he can to be back out there. We’ll just take it day-by-day as a process and see how it goes. Whatever opportunity that provides for someone else, hopefully that player can take advantage of that opportunity and be productive. We'll have to see how that goes."
The Patriots will need some of their younger, more inexperienced wide receivers to step up in Edelman's absence. This list includes Isaiah Zuber, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski, among others. Second-year wideout N'Keal Harry missed the last two practices due to a concussion, leaving his status for Sunday's game against the Bills in doubt.
Edelman hasn't played at a high level in 2020, but he still leads the Patriots with 21 receptions and 315 receiving yards through seven games.