The Patriots placed Julian Edelman on Injured Reserve, ending the wide receiver's 2012 season. The team signed former Patriot Donte Stallworth. However, Edelman's contributions in multiple phases of the game will be tough to replace.
Edelman scored 5 touchdowns this season: 3 were caught, 1 was a punt return, 1 was a fumble recovery on a kickoff. He averaged 15.5 yards per punt return, the 2nd best in the NFL. He was a key contributor on offense and special teams.
While Patriot fans revel in the team's 6 game win-streak and divisional title, what's not spoken much about is how riddled with injury this team is. Chandler Jones, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Rob Gronkowski. One more injury to a receiver, such as Wes Welker or Aaron Hernandez, and this team could be in trouble.
This is why securing a first-round bye is so vital.