The injury bug continues to linger around the New England Patriots. The team is winning and is headed to the conference championship to face off against the Denver Broncos, but there are still health concerns around big names. The Patriots got Julian Edelman back on the field for the matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, but did he re-injure himself during the game?
Following the win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Edelman was seen heading off the get X-rays which drew a lot of concerns regarding his health. According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, when Edelman was asked whether or not he got X-rays for an injury, the receiver downplayed the idea that he was hurt.
"Everyone's sore," said Edelman, via ESPN.com. "I finished the game and feel good enough to get ready to prepare for next week."
This was the first game Edelman was active for since breaking his foot in mid November. Edelman practiced all week and appeared fine, but there is concern that maybe his foot is still an issue for him heading into the AFC Championship Game. If he was hurting on the field, it did not show, He was active on 52 of 59 snaps while being targeted 16 times, catching 10 for 100 yards on the day. His health will still be something to continue to watch as the Patriots prepare to play the Broncos.
Rob Gronkowski was the bigger injury concern heading into the game than Edelman was. Gronkowski barely got on the field after NESN.com reported the tight end was dealing with a knee injury. He ended catching seven passes for 83 yards which was enough to help get the job done. Gronkowski made it clear that he was sore, but fully intends to keep playing.
"I was just making sure I was prepared for the game and ready to go," Gronkowski said, via ESPN.com. "Any time, big games like this, you always have to put a little extra work in if you're out there on the practice field or not. It just worked out well; I felt good for the game and we went out there and did what we had to do to get the win."
One thing is clear, when Brady has Gronkowski and Edelman on the field together, the Patriots offense is simply a different beast. Brandon LaFell and Keshawn Martin did their best to keep things afloat when both players were dealing with injuries, but the Patriots are simply a different team with Edelman and Gronkowski running tandem.
The Patriots should have no issues throwing the ball against the Broncos. The concern will be staying balanced on offense as the rushing game is lacking. Steven Jackson led the way with 16 yards off six carries. James White recorded one carry for five yards. The ground game was not what it should be as they struggled against the tough Chiefs' defense. It will be the same story in Denver.