Edelman eager to put hand injury behind him

Edelman eager to put hand injury behind him
October 24, 2012, 6:29 pm
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FOXBORO -- Lost in the ugly drama of New England's 29-26 overtime win over the Jets was the return of Julian Edelman. 
The receiver was active Sunday after being stuck on the sidelines for three weeks. Edelman injured his hand on a 7-yard touchdown catch in the Patriots' loss to Baltimore. 
He had a quiet comeback against New York: Two catches for 7 yards. 
Still better than nothing. 
"It's good," he said Tuesday. "I'm getting back into the routine of things. Getting out there and preparing with your teammates is always a fun thing."
Precious little was learned about the exact nature or severity of the ailment. Edelman was whisked away from the media's sights immediately and totally. 
It was quite a change, considering how bright the spotlight had been at the start of the season. 
Edelman had the best training camp of his career this year. This, coming off a strange 2011 where injuries in the Patriots secondary forced him to play 94 snaps at defensive back against 111 on offense. 
It seemed all but a dream by the time 2012 started. 
Edelman played 23 offensive snaps against the Titans in Game 1. The following week, his participation skyrocketed and he played 75 of 82 total snaps. Tom Brady's No. 1 receiver, Wes Welker, played 63 by comparison. 
Going into the Ravens game, he was on pace for 53 catches and 453 yards, both of which would be career highs. Easily. We're talking about a guy who had just 11 receptions for 120 yards in the last two years combined. 
Edelman played the most of any receiver in the first half against Baltimore (38 snaps). 
Then came the injury.  
"It's something I can't control, so if I get frustrated about that I'm thinking about the wrong things," Edelman said of being derailed. "It's part of the game. It's unfortunate sometimes, but you get knocked off the horse, you've got to get back on."
He did what he could over the last three weeks -- went to meetings, watched practice, did everything he could to actually simulate participating in practice. Turns out, there's one good thing about a hand injury: It's not going to stop a guy from running. 
"I kept my shape up. Usually that's the thing when you get injured -- you get out of shape and all that stuff -- but it was something I could deal with," he explained. 
So now we know a little more of what Edelman has gone through. But that's not the biggest takeaway from his first media meet. The most striking thing? How desperate the receiver is to move on. 
"That's all in the past," he said about half a dozen times. "I'm really just trying to focus on the role that I'm going to be given and I'm looking forward to that task."
One has to wonder if that role will resemble anything as big as his first few games suggested. Though there's probably no one more eager to find out than Edelman.