Standing in the middle of the Patriots locker room with a throng of reporters three or four deep, wide receiver Julian Edelmananswered questions for several minutes late this morning.
The second-year wide receiver, who hasn't been on the field in a game since the Atlanta game in Week 2 of the preseason due to a foot injury, returned to full-pads practicing last week, but was inactive for the opener versus Cincinnati. When players on this team finally talk to reporters after an injury, that's typically a sign that their return to game action is imminent.
Edelman wouldn't say definitively, however, if he'll be suiting up for New England's Week-2 visit to the New York Jets this Sunday.
"I'm out there just getting better every practice and working my tail off to do whatever I can to be ready," he said.
Last year, as a rookie, Edelman also missed the regular season opener, then burst onto the NFL scene with a team-leading eight catches for 98 yards in Week 2 at the Meadowlands against the Jets.
"I actually look at [that game] and say, 'Wow, you really looked like a rookie last year,'" Edelman recalled.
"There was a lot of mistakes, and, of course, there were little things here and there that I liked, but I had a long way to go and I still do. We'll break down that film and the second [Jets game] film and we'll get ready for this week."
In his debut last year, Edelman replaced the then-injured Wes Welker, who today is still wearing a knee brace from his injury this past January. At his locker Thursday, Welker reiterated his disdain for the brace.
"I'm definitely ready to get rid of it," Welker told a similarly large contingent of reporters as Edelman's. "But at the same time we're gonna be cautious with it. It's a pretty bulky type knee brace, but I'm able to do what I need to do out there, and hopefully soon we'll get it off. I'd like to be without it at some point."
When the Patriots visit the Jets, New York will be without the services of their mammoth nose tackle, Kris Jenkins, who was placed on Injured Reserve following their Monday Night Football opener against Baltimore. Jenkins injured the same knee that landed him on IR last season.
When a local reporter pointed out to Welker that Jenkins sustained his most recent injury after discarding his own knee brace, Welker replied, quite humorously, "Yeah … thanks for that."
Thu 9/16 Practice Notebook
For news and notes from Thursday's practice, please visit the PFW Blog.