We’re on to Wednesday, so here’s a quick rundown of this morning’s top stories.
He’s Back – One bright spot coming out of OTAs on Tuesday was the return of Julian Edelman, who spent all of last season sidelined after suffering a knee injury during the preseason.
According to most reports Edelman looked as strong and quick as ever, appearing to be back to his explosive shifty self during his limited time on the field. Edelman only took part in individual drills but from how it went, it’s good news for a player who has quietly proven to be one of New England’s most important assets in the Patriots’ offense and the fact he looks this strong is certainly a good sign.
— WBZ Boston Sports (@wbzsports) May 22, 2018
The veteran receiver was also celebrating his 32nd birthday on Tuesday, which marked Edelman’s second straight day of participation after he also took part in Monday’s workout.
Having spent a full season away from the game, Edelman told USA TODAY’s FTW recently that he tried to maximize the time with mental reps and spend time with his daughter, but remained focused on getting himself back on the field.
“You just have more time to watch the game and your teammates and you pick up on little things that you might not see when you’re playing. I also have a daughter so it gave me more time to spend with her, which is always good. But it showed me how much I love football, and that not playing it sucks.”
No Mitchell Tuesday – One day after reports of Malcolm Mitchell being out catching passes, the third-year receiver wasn’t spotted during Tuesday’s practice.
That’s a bad sign for a player who at this stage should be recovered from his injury but may still managing something. Mitchell showed tremendous toughness during his rookie season after dislocating his elbow during the preseason but despite reports that had him potentially lost for a prolonged period of time, Mitchell was back in action by Week 1 of the regular season.
Given his toughness and his desire to be on the field, the fact he’s not will be something to keep an eye on. Social media posts toward the end of last season seemed to indicate he was hoping to make it back, but unfortunately, that never happened. But if he continues to miss time over the next couple of weeks, it potentially sets a concerning precedent heading into training camp.
Mitchell told Mike Reiss back in February that he was looking forward to getting back to work.
“I’m feeling great,” said Mitchell. “This offseason will be big. Obviously, I missed all of last season and I won’t shy away from the importance of making sure I’m ready when we start OTAs.”
Hopefully, we’ll see him back out there soon.
Quarterback Situation is Less Than Desireable – If ever there was a season to hold your breath each time Tom Brady takes a big hit, it’s hard not to argue this will be it.
According to most reports, Brian Hoyer didn’t have his best performance on Tuesday and was erratic, misfiring on quite a few throws along with turning the ball over. Danny Etling reportedly had a limited amount of attempts, and some reports did feel he actually looked better than Hoyer. However, the biggest knock was the fact he reportedly looked tentative, which is to be expected given his status as a rookie in just his second workout with the team.
But this current depth chart is essentially a placeholder until either Etling develops or they bring in another player. Hoyer’s time has long since come and gone and it was his familiarity with the system and previous tenure that sparked his return following the team’s decision to move Jimmy Garoppolo during the 2017 regular season. He was here because he knew the system and it was a quick fix following Garoppolo’s departure to provide seasoned depth behind Brady.
The biggest problem this season is that should Brady be lost, Tuesday’s practice was a reminder that it’s definitely going to be shaky until someone eventually emerges behind New England’s starting quarterback. With the team heading into this season with their 41-year old signal-caller, one can only hope he goes out and puts up another incredible year as a distraction to the fact there’s no longer someone even close on the roster that can fill his shoes should they find themselves without him.
KEION CROSSEN MAKES SOME NOISE – It’s a little too early to get excited about unknowns making plays, but newcomer Keion Crossen did a good job of setting the bar high for himself during Tuesday’s workout
According to reports, Crossen came up with a huge end zone interception on a pass from Brian Hoyer to James White, showing terrific athleticism both on that play and on others during the session.
The seventh-round pick out of Western Carolina was also involved in several pass break-ups, which now makes him a player to keep an eye on as he’ll now be forced to prove that he’s ready to build on his early success.
Rookie CB Keion Crossen had a hell of a practice. QBs were 0 of 5 while targeting him. Crossen had a leaping INT in the end zone and two pass breakups.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 22, 2018
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