Julian Edelman’s tender ribs may test receiver depth

(Adam Richins for BSJ)

FOXBOROUGH -- The instant he eased off the field, in the final 80 seconds of the first half, Julian Edelman injected drama into Sunday’s 30-14 smothering of the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium.

Edelman was done for the day at seven catches for 62 yards with what the team deemed a “chest injury.” Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network later noted that the injury was to his ribs and that x-rays came back negative.

The injury and the loss of Edelman was accentuated by this week’s not-so-sudden departure of Antonio Brown.

Without Edelman, Tom Brady then missed on 3rd-and-1, missing Jakobi ending a potential scoring drive at the New York 41.

Brady went 19 of 27 for 199 yards (7.4 per attempt) and two TDs with Edelman in the lineup and 9 of 15 for 107 yards (7.1) without him.

The injury tested the depth of the unit.

“We did some good things,” said Bill Belichick, who chose to not answer the one Antonio Brown question tossed his way in the postgame. “There’s certainly a lot of things we can do better, some route techniques and adjustments and so forth. But we’ve got a couple of young guys in that position, a couple new guys there. Josh has still only been here a few weeks. We’ll just keep grinding.”

Myers, the free-agent rookie, saw extensive second-half action, and caught the one other ball tossed his way by TB12, an 18-yard hookup on a blown Jets zone coverage.

The case could be made that Edelman’s injury, even if not serious as the x-rays would seem to have you believe, speaks to the fragility of the position and the New England offense on the whole.

The Patriots put up 20 in the first half, almost with ease.

Edelman’s absence hastened a Jets adjustment to much more man-based defenses in the second half.