Finally, there is some good news coming out of the Patriots camp, after all the negative publicity over Deflategate, Julian Edelman has come off the physically unable to perform list (PUP). He took part in practice today at Foxborough, Mass. for the first time.
Edelman has had to recover from a couple of surgeries on his left foot in November and in May, and participated in work on the pads but was absent for team scrimmage. The first foot surgery made him miss the final 7 regular season games but he returned in the divisional round of the playoffs with a 100-yard game against the Chiefs. Then he followed that up with 53 yards in the loss to the Broncos in the AFC Title game.
Also, he caught a few passes from suspended quarterback Tom Brady during practice today, and he told The Sport Xchange that he felt good:
"It feels good, to get out here and get to see the fellas in pads and not get to see them after practice -- that's the fun thing about this time of the year. You've got to get your football legs back in shape and you've got to have this extra weight on (by wearing the pads). It's about 7 pounds, so it's good to get out here and run around with the pads and adjust to catching a ball with the shoulder pads, the helmet, the face mask; going out there and trying to get tired, as tired as possible with the pads on so you can get used to the games and stuff."
This is huge for the Patriots to have a player of Edelman's calibre back off the injury list because he is one receiver that seems to always find space quickly to help out the QB. In the first four games without Brady, he is going to be key for Jimmy Garoppolo in terms of being his go-to guy and an experienced head to rely on. It is also pivotal to rebuild the connection he has had previously with Tom Brady after a long off-season, so when Brady gets back from his ban they can propel the Pats back to the SuperBowl where they belong.
In the end, a bit of positive news that the Pats can take from training camp after injuries across the board, a key team mate returning on and off the field is huge. With Garoppolo looking like he will need a go-to guy and the relationship Edelman and Brady have, No 11 could be looking at a big year.
Follow me on Twitter @chrisjacobs238