The New England Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl last season, which prevented them from winning their second consecutive Super Bowl and third Super Bowl in four seasons. Despite the loss, the Patriots are once again the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
With the team getting ready for the season, the New England players got some bad news last week when it was announced that Julian Edelman will miss the first four games of the year thanks to a failed test.
Edelman, who missed the entire 2017 season after suffering a season-ending injury during the preseason, is the team’s most experienced wide receiver, and he was expected to carry a big load this year after the team parted ways with Brandin Cooks during the offseason and lost Danny Amendola to the Miami Dolphins in free agency.
With Edelman on the field, quarterback Tom Brady will have two reliable options to throw to since Rob Gronkowski has reported to the team and is ready to go. Without Edelman, Brady will have to rely more on Gronkowski, and without Amendola and Cooks to draw defenses away, opponents will keep Gronkowski in double coverage while Edelman serves his suspension.
Edelman, who has apologized to the organization, his teammates and fans, has appealed the suspension, and even though his chances of getting it overturned isn’t good, it also isn’t impossible.
In 2016, defensive tackle Alan Branch had a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy overturned. In 2012, former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman also won an appeal of his suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing substance policy after claiming there were chain of custody errors when they handled his urine sample and other errors made by his tester.
In Edelman’s case, there is no information on what exactly he took that violated the league’s performance enhancing substance policy, but if it is anything similar to what happened to Rob Ninkovich, he might have success getting the suspension overturned.
Ninkovich said he bought a supplement at a store and was unaware a banned substance was in it because it wasn’t listed as an ingredient. Taking the supplement led to a failed test. Ninkovich added that unless supplements are NSF certified, there is no way to know if they contain banned substances because there are no regulations to make sure companies accurately label their supplements.
Despite the potential four-game suspension of Edelman, Patriots fans had a reason to smile last week when quarterback Tom Brady reported for the team’s mini-camp. Brady had missed last month’s OTAs, which led some to believe he was unhappy with the team.
With Brady back in camp, the Patriots will go into the preseason with a lot of confidence because he would have some time to get used to the receivers on the team. If Brady had decided to hold out for a new contract, the franchise would have been in a tough spot because they traded away Brady’s experienced backup Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers last season and they would have gone into the preseason with Brian Hoyer as their starter, which would have been scary.