The New England Patriots had a rough day at practice Tuesday, as Julian Edelman (foot) and Rob Ninkovich (triceps) both sustained injuries. Neither injury, however, was as serious as it could have been – even though Edelman slammed his helmet to the ground after hurting himself during a one-on-one drill.
Edelman, 30, has missed nine games over the last two seasons and had played in 16 games just once in his seven-year NFL career. Is he really okay after re-injuring his foot Tuesday?
“I’ll tell you why actually this is one time where I do believe the reports coming out about the injury,” Boston Globe NFL writer Ben Volin said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench “We have it from a source that it wasn’t a serious injury and (they) kind of avoided disaster today. Edelman broke a bone in his foot last November against the Giants. It was the second time in his career – he broke that bone also in 2012. He had to have two surgeries to fix it – one right away in November and he came back for the playoffs, and then he had a second surgery in May that kept him out all offseason. He just came back three days ago so to see him get hurt again is very troubling at the surface. But considering it’s not a serious injury, it can only do one of two things: Either he re-broke the bone, which would be serious and he’d be out for a long time, or it’s just a scar-tissue injury, something happened with the scar tissue around the wound where they operated, and it probably flared up and he might be out for a few days, maybe a week, but he should be back pretty soon. So it sounds like he avoided another broken bone. That would have been serious. That would have been really troubling. But I think they avoided disaster with Edelman today.”
Edelman has 258 catches in 39 games (6.6 catches per game), 2,720 yards and 17 touchdowns over his last three seasons.
“The position he plays is so physical, going over the middle, catching passes in that offense – he’s always taking hits,” Volin said. “It seems at times he seeks out contact. He’s had lots of little nicks and bruises. He’s had a couple concussions. Everyone remembers the one he maybe had but didn’t have in the Super Bowl a couple years ago. You’re right. They need a backup plan for Edelman just because he’s 30 years old now and he takes big hits and he’s always banged up. They have Danny Amendola, they brought in Chris Hogan from the Buffalo Bills, and really, the offense is going to revolve around the two big tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. And let’s not forget Dion Lewis, the running back who looked phenomenal last year before he tore his ACL – he’s coming back now. So they have lots of different weapons. Edelman is a huge part of the offense, and you’re right: He’s always hurt and they’re going to have to be monitoring his foot and his health and trying to keep him healthy for the playoffs.”
Ninkovich, meanwhile, suffered a torn triceps, but even that wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
“He’s going to be out for maybe up to two months, but this was another one where they avoided the real disaster,” Volin said. “When you tear your triceps, you can either tear the muscle or the tendon. If you tear the tendon, you got to have surgery, you’re going to be out four to six months – it probably would have cost Ninkovich the season. He just tore the muscle this time. So no surgery, and he’ll be back maybe by early October, mid-October.”
Ninkovich, 32, has started 116 straight games for New England.
“That will probably come to an end, but they’ll get him back hopefully in October, so they’ll have him for three or four months,” Volin said. “So again, two injuries today with the Patriots that could have been disastrous, and I think they’re fortunate that they’re not nearly as bad.”