We all knew Julian Edelman was playing through pain late in the 2019 season.

Now, we have a better idea of what caused that pain.

The Athletic's Jeff Howe shared what was ailing the New England Patriots wide receiver in his breakdown of the team's roster Wednesday:

Edelman dealt with an assortment of injuries, including a separated AC joint in his shoulder, a knee issue and rib injury that were described as serious enough that they would have ended some other players’ seasons.

Howe added that offseason surgery to fix Edelman's injuries "hasn't been ruled out."

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That Edelman didn't miss a game while dealing with a separated AC joint, a knee injury and a rib injury is a testament to his toughness; then-Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo missed two games with a sprained AC joint in 2016.

It also may explain why the 33-year-old receiver looked like a shell of himself in New England's final four games.

Edelman tallied three catches or fewer in three of those four contests and caught just 56.5 percent of passes thrown his way (13 catches on 23 targets) in that span.

He also dropped a crucial Tom Brady pass in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Wild Card Round loss to the Tennessee Titans.

The "good news" for the Patriots is that Edelman has extra time to recover from his ailments with New England already eliminated from the playoffs.

The bad news is there's a chance Edelman will have to develop chemistry with a new quarterback in 2020 if Tom Brady leaves in free agency.


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