98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Two key members of the New England Patriots could go under the knife this offseason in cornerback Jason McCourty and wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Mentioned in Jeff Howe’s (excellent) end-of-year look on The Athletic, McCourty’s absence towards the end of the season — he missed five of the team’s final seven games, including the Patriots’ wild card round loss to the Titans last Saturday — was due to a torn groin.
It was a big loss for the Patriots, too, as the team was eviscerated by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins through the air in their Week 17 loss on Gillette turf, and just didn’t look the same without McCourty (and Jonathan Jones) available at various spurts throughout the final weeks of the year.
“It’s tough. He’s been doing everything possible to try to get out there,” Jason’s brother and Patriots teammate, Devin, said of J-Mac’s injury. “He’s done a lot of things that aren’t the easiest things to do, to go through pain to try to get back out there. He went out there against Kansas City and then tried to take a week off and do some things and then get back out there against Buffalo, and it just didn’t go his way this year. I could see the frustration on his face as he stayed in it, supporting each one of us, being really a coach on the sideline, how much he wanted to be out there [Saturday].”
Jason McCourty is signed through next season, and carries a $5.75 million cap hit.
And the potential for offseason surgery remains on the table for Edelman, according to Howe, after a year that saw the club’s top wideout battled through knee, shoulder, and rib injuries. While the numbers wouldn’t tell you this — Edelman piled up six touchdowns on 100 catches and a career-best 1,117 yards — these injuries may be the first sign that it’s time for the Patriots to consider limiting Edelman’s workload to truly get the best out of him, and avoid the possibility of additional surgeries down the road.
In other injury news mentioned by Howe, the belief is that center David Andrews, who missed the entire season due to blood clots, can return for the 2020 season. Howe also noted that safety Patrick Chung, who battled through an injury-plagued campaign much like Edelman, sustained a high-ankle sprain in New England’s playoff loss to Tennessee.