From a statistical standpoint, the New England Patriots have a bottom-of-the-barrel passing attack. Josh McDaniels' offense has thrown for the second-fewest yards in the league (1,261), the least amount of passing touchdowns (three) and a league-high 11 interceptions. Now, that unit is being hit with a substantial blow as veteran receiver Julian Edelman is set to miss time due to a knee injury, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
Edelman, who was absent from Thursday's practice after being limited on Wednesday due to that knee issue, underwent a precautionary standard knee procedure on Thursday morning, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Edelman is slated to miss some time, but Howe reports that he is not expected to miss the remainder of the season. Of course, Edelman did miss the entire 2017 season due to a torn ACL. It's unclear at the moment if this current issue is in that same surgically repaired right knee.
Even with the quarterback change in New England from Tom Brady to Cam Newton, Edelman has clearly been battling through something this season and the team has limited him throughout. Through the Patriots' first six games, Edelman has received just one start while playing in 68.12% of the offensive snaps, ranking third among receivers on the team. In that time, he's hauled in 21 of his 39 targets for 315 yards. However, a large chunk of those season totals came in Week 2 when he logged 179 receiving yards against Seattle. Since that game, Edelman has not gone over 35 receiving yards. Over the last two games, Edelman has combined for just three receptions for 21 yards.
To make matters even worse for the Patriots' passing game, 2019 first-round pick N'Keal Harry is in the concussion protocol, leaving Damiere Byrd and Jakobi Meyers as the top-two wideouts for New England as they gear up to play the Buffalo Bills in a pivotal game to keep pace in the AFC East.