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MRI confirms Julian Edelman ACL tear

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The New England Patriots have so many assets that even without Julian Edelman, they are going to be fine.

The Patriots feared the worst when Julian Edelman suffered a knee injury on Friday night, and now an MRI has confirmed the worst.

Edelman suffered a complete tear of his ACL, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports. That’s almost certainly a season-ending injury.

That’s a major blow for New England: Last year Edelman was by far the Patriots’ top receiver, with 98 catches for 1,106 yards. No one else on the team came within 35 catches or 400 yards of Edelman’s total.

If there’s any team that can afford to lose its No. 1 receiver, it’s the Patriots: They’re loaded at the offensive skill positions. And Tom Brady has shown that he can run the offense even when his receiving corps is depleted.

But for the first time this offseason, the defending champions have suffered a significant loss. New England is still the favorite to win the Super Bowl, but not quite as strong a favorite as it was 24 hours ago, before Edelman went down.