Edelman placed on season-ending IR because of broken foot

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Edelman placed on season-ending IR because of broken foot

Julian Edelman's 2012 season is likely over. The Patriots wide receiverpunt return specialist has a fractured foot and will probably be placed on injured reserve.

Edelman appeared to injure his foot in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over Miami.

Edelman has 21 catches for 235 yards and three touchdowns. He missed three games with a broken hand earlier in the year. In the two games before Sunday, Edelman had his most productive games at wideout with five catches fro 58 yards and a touchdown against the Colts and two catches for 64 yards and a touchdown against the Jets.

Edelman also had a punt return touchdown against the Colts. He's averaged 15.5 yards on 17 punt returns.

The 26-year-old Edelman will be a free agent at the end of this season. As explosive as he can be, the breakneck style he employs seems to be a near-constant invitation for injuries.

After catching just four passes in 2011, Edelman worked out doggedly this past offseason and spent a lot of time in California working directly with Tom Brady. He had an excellent training camp and, when the season came, was ticketed for a bigger role in the Patriots offense.

But the hand injury suffered in the season's third game waylaid his season.

The Patriots are expected to announce the signing of Donte Stallworth later on Tuesday. Meanwhile, wide receiver Deion Branch is nearly back to full speed after injuring his hamstring last month. He may soon be in the mix as well.

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."