The Patriots offense sputtered late in the first half against the Jets on Sunday, going into the locker room with their final three drives ending with punts.
Things didn't get better when Julian Edelman suffered a chest injury just before halftime that knocked him out of the game. They averaged less than 3.5 yards per play, and put together one touchdown drive. (They also kicked a field goal in the second half that was set up by a Devin McCourty interception. The subsequent Patriots drive compiled a net gain of negative seven yards before Stephen Gostkowski's kick.)
On WEEI's Greg Hill Show, Tom Brady acknowledged that if Edelman has to miss time then the Patriots offense will be looking at an uphill climb.
"He's a tough guy," Brady said. "I've been around a lot of players. There's very, very, very few guys that have Julian's toughness. I don't know exactly what all the reports show. I think today and Tuesday are good indicators of that. But he's tough. He's one of the best players I've ever played with in this organization. I love being out there with him. When he's not out there, the offense takes a huge hit. Hopefully he can be out there as soon as he's healthy and ready to go."
The Patriots were also forced to go without Josh Gordon for a stretch as he dealt with an apparent lower-body injury and then a finger injury that forced him to miss time. That resulted in Jakobi Meyers (48 plays) and Gunner Olszewski (seven plays) getting key snaps. Brady indicated that if the Patriots can't get healthier, they'll have to find a way to get more veterans into the mix.
The Patriots were also without James White (welcomed a baby Sunday) and James Develin (neck injury) against the Jets, throwing their offense into a state of relative disarray.
"Our offense has a lot of work to do . . . We're gonna need to get some healthy bodies out there," he said. "We're gonna need some experienced players. It's just too hard, football, to put a bunch of new players in there and think we're going to be spectacular.
"I love the way that guys are trying to contribute. Guys are working really hard — all the guys that played yesterday. But the last three quarters we're gonna have to do a lot better than that."
For a closer look at how the Patriots running game performed Sunday — continuing a stretch of less-than-efficient showings in that aspect of their offensive attack — head here.
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