The New England Patriots are celebrating another victory and lamenting the loss of another key contributor.
The Patriots (9-0) remained unbeaten with a last-minute, 27-26 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday, but it came at the cost of receiver Julian Edelman. The 5-foot-10 former college quarterback went down grabbing for his left foot in the first half and did not return.
"Julian has been incredible for us. Incredible," quarterback Tom Brady said on his weekly radio show on Monday. "It's just unfortunate to lose such a critical player. But you've just got to try to figure it out different ways to get it done."
Edelman caught four passes for 53 yards before leaving the game on Sunday. Patriots coach Bill Belichick declined to comment on the severity of Edelman's injury, but media reports said Edelman had a broken bone in his foot.
"When someone's really integral to part of basically everything you're doing, and then you lose that person, it may take a little bit to kind of figure out how you can move things around and get comfortable with what you're doing," Brady said. "Because you want to have a lot of confidence in the things that you're doing."
Edelman has caught 197 passes for 2,028 yards over the past two seasons, and was on pace for a 1,000-yard season when he left Sunday's game. His loss comes a week after running back Dion Lewis was knocked out for the season with a torn ACL; the Patriots have also been shuffling their offensive line to cover for injuries to Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Bryan Stork, Nate Solder and Ryan Wendell.
"Every team deals with injuries," Brady said on WEEI. "We've been pretty banged-up. Hopefully at some point we can get some guys back."
Without Edelman, Brady will have to rely on Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola. Keshawn Martin could become available when he recovers from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since Week 6.
"There's nothing that's really seamless when you lose a great player," Brady said. "When it's someone that's been the leading receiver on your team for multiple years and you lose them, it's not like you go, 'OK, well, let just put someone else in.' He's too good of a player for that."