Fresh off his league-imposed four-game hiatus, Julian Edelman was back in Foxborough Tuesday.
It’s not uncommon for the Patriots to conduct a walkthrough-style session on the Tuesday preceding a Thursday night contest. And that's what they did today, in Edelman's first practice with the team in over a month. The veteran wide receiver donned a helmet, long-sleeved shirt, and cut-off sweat pants for an otherwise pad-free workout with teammates on a soggy the practice field.
“It was good to see him,” fellow wide out Phillip Dorsett told reporters. “I’m glad he’s here. He brings the [energy] in our room. It’s going to help us a lot.”
“I wasn’t here when the red carpet was rolled out, or the trumpets, or the flowers thrown. But I heard it was quite the spectacle,” joked tight end Dwayne Allen of Edelman’s long-awaited return to the squad.
While Edelman was on suspension, the Patriots had 54 players listed on their active roster, from which Edelman was considered exempt. With his return, the Patriots must eventually make a corresponding transaction to free up a spot to get back down to 53. It's not immediately clear which player will be sacrificed to make room for Edelman. We should receive confirmation of that soon, perhaps as early as later today.
Meanwhile, media were only allowed to view the stretching period of today’s practice, but during that 10-minute window, there was no sign of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is dealing with at least one and possibly two ankle injuries.
Last week, Gronkowski was listed with an ankle injury and later in the locker room with a heavily-taped left ankle. Sunday against the Dolphins, he exited the game in the third quarter and was treated on the sideline for a right ankle injury. Gronkowski eventually left the field and did not return to action. His status for Thursday nights contest versus the Colts remains in doubt at this point.