Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

Preparing for both Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman has been challenging for Colts

Ryan Hannable
October 03, 2018 - 11:20 am

FOXBORO -- Preparing for Thursday games is always challenging given the short turnaround, but things are even harder for the Colts this week given there's not much tape available on two of the better Patriots receivers -- Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon.

Edelman hasn't played in a meaningful game for the Patriots since Super Bowl LI after tearing his ACL in the preseason last year and being suspended for the first four games this season, and then Gordon has just 18 snaps as a member of the Patriots.

Colts head coach Frank Reich also noted how hard it is to simulate Edelman in practice.

"I mean, he’s a great player and there’s certain guys that just have these kind of unique route-running skills that – it’s hard to get that in a look team," he said on a conference call Tuesday. "It’s hard to say, 'Hey, you go in there and you play Edelman and you run a route like he runs it.' That’s hard to mimic. He’s certainly had a great career and has unique abilities and provides playmaking, especially I see it on third down, just having that knack for getting open."

When it comes to Gordon, Reich called him a No. 1 receiver.

"I mean honestly he has an elite physical skillset," he said. "I mean, this guy’s explosive, he’s got length, he’s got all the characteristics, all the physical attributes that you want in a number one receiver. That’ll certainly be a challenge."

The Patriots offense should be the closest to full strength it has been all season with the return of Edelman and Gordon having a game under his belt, although it remains to be seen if Rob Gronkowski (ankle) will be able to give it a go.

Regardless, the Colts' defense is facing a big challenge on a short week.

Related: Dwayne Allen ready for bigger role if Rob Gronkowski can't play