Foxborough, MA - It is becoming increasingly more likely that fans of the New England Patriots are going to have to wait four games longer (compared to the entirety of the 2017-18 season after an ACL tear) to see their star wide receiver, Julian Edelman, trot onto the field at Gillette Stadium.
Late last night, the NFL announced that Edelman's appeal of his four game suspension was denied and the decision to suspend the ten year veteran for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs will stand.
Edelman's appeal was denied despite what the thirty-two year old believed was a mishandling of the sample by the league, in addition to the notion that the substance he tested positive for was not recognized by the drug testing facilities.
Previous reports indicated that Edelman would rail against his suspension with tenacity, but his next step would be to bring his case for an appeal all the way to federal courts. Were he to pursue this route, further details about the NFL's mistakes in handling Edelman's case would undoubtedly surface.
If the suspension ultimately stands, Edelman will not be eligible to see game action until New England's home game against the Indianapolis Colts on October 4. Ineligible to return until October 1, this would mean that Edelman would miss games against the Houston Texans, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Detroit Lions, and the Miami Dolphins, who notably acquired Edelman's wide receiver counterpart, Danny Amendola, this offseason.
Were Edelman to pursue the case further, a situation similar to that of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott could unfold where the player's active status was constantly in flux throughout the season. Ultimately, Elliott did end up serving his suspension so it proves it is nearly impossible to go up against the NFL in court (just ask Tom Brady).
The team still seems to support their go-to target who secured a game changing catch in Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons, as Brady was seen on Instagram throwing passes to his trusted slot receiver. New England fans will likely have to wait to see this happen in an actual game scenario, though.