New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman left Tuesday morning’s practice with an apparent injury to his lower left leg.
Edelman, who suffered a broken left foot and underwent surgery last November before returning for the playoffs, threw his helmet to the ground while a team trainer examined his leg, multiple media outlets in Boston reported.
CSNNE.com and NFL.com, each citing a source, reported that the injury is not believed to be serious.
Edelman, 30, underwent a second surgical procedure on his foot in May that caused him to start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
The seven-year veteran practiced fully for the first time on Sunday and, according to WEEI radio, looked impressive in one-on-one drills against the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday before exiting the field.
Edelman racked up 61 receptions and a career-high seven touchdown catches in nine games last season before sustaining the broken foot against the New York Giants on Nov. 15, 2015. He returned to the lineup to make 17 catches in a pair of postseason games.
A converted quarterback who was a seventh-round draft choice out of Kent State in 2009, Edelman emerged as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets following the departure of perennial Pro Bowl wideout Wes Welker, amassing a career-high 105 receptions and his first 1,000-yard season in 2013.
The 5-foot-10, 200-pound slot receiver followed that up with 92 receptions for 972 yards and four scores in 2014 and was on pace for another 100-catch season in 2015 before getting hurt.
Secondary benefits from battling with Brees
The Patriots’ secondary heads into this season with lofty expectations and on Tuesday, got a dose of reality.
Through the course of the team’s joint practice with the New Orleans Saints, quarterback Drew Brees had his way completing 21 of 25 passes in team drills. The Patriots were competitive, but were mainly on the losing end of this battle.
Not all is lost, however, as the practice was a good opportunity for this group and secondary to focus on what they need to do to get better come the regular season.
“[Brees is] one of the best. That’s what I really liked about this,” Devin McCourty said. “Preseason, inside the game, sometimes you don’t know how much you’ll see him. For myself, going against Tom [Brady] every day, seeing that insight and how he goes through different drills and then you come out here and see Drew Brees. [He’s] another guy who knows exactly where he wants to go with the ball, knows how to move a defender, really just at an elite level. To get to practice against that, not just in a game… I think it’s a big advantage.”
The Patriots return everyone in the secondary from last season and add second-round pick Cyrus Jones, who had two deflections on Tuesday. Duron Harmon also intercepted Luke McCown. But in the red zone, Brees operated with efficacy and even beat Malcolm Butler, connecting with Brandin Cooks on two out of three passes.
Overall, McCourty was happy with how the unit performed.
“I think we did a good job of coming out and being aggressive,” McCourty said. “Obviously it wasn’t perfect, but I think we came out with the right mentality that’ll get us better as a group and that we can work on.”