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Patriots players react to Julian Edelman returning: 'We’re all excited to have him back'

Ryan Hannable
October 01, 2018 - 6:22 pm

FOXBORO -- It's Week 5 in the 2018 NFL season and that means Julian Edelman's four-game suspension is over.

The Patriots wide receiver was back in the Gillette Stadium facility Monday as the team prepares for the Colts Thursday night, and his teammates seemed thrilled to have him back.

“He’s a key cog in what we do here," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "He’s a true Patriot, and he’s really unique in the person he is, the man that he is. Obviously, the player that he is, so we’re all excited to have him back."

"It’s good, it’s good. You know, he hasn’t changed a bit," Tom Brady added. "Four weeks off, he looks good."

Given the Patriots' current situation at receiver -- Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and Josh Gordon -- provided his conditioning is there, Edelman should immediately slide into the No. 1 receiver role. It is worth noting after tearing his ACL in the preseason last year, Thursday will be his first meaningful game since Super Bowl LI.

Appearing on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria, Bill Belichick did note Edelman will need to catch up quickly.

"I talked with Julian this morning. We didn't practice today. We'll see how it works out," Belichick said. "This obviously isn't going to be a big week of practice. It isn't a good week of practice. We'll do our best to evaluate things and make a decision prior to game time."

"I know the play book and you don't want me out there," he added. "It's the timing and the execution of it," he said. "When you're by yourself as Julian has been, we've had other players in this situation before, you can run around the track and do all the sit-ups you want. It's different when you have 21 other guys on the field playing football. The timing the awareness, is just different. The space, and the players that are in that space, is something you can only get used to by doing it. That's a process any player would need to go through. Julian knows that. I'm sure he'll work hard and do the best he can."

Edelman will get a chance to practice, although likely just a walkthrough, for the first time this season on Tuesday.

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