-- EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will undergo surgery for a broken bone in his left foot, sources told ESPN. There is hope Edelman will return this season.
He had helped the Patriots convert a first down with a 12-yard catch-and-run on third-and-4 and came up limping at the end of the play after he was tackled by linebacker Jasper Brinkley.
Edelman entered the game as the team's leading receiver, with 57 receptions for 639 yards and seven touchdowns. In a further reflection of his value to the team and how he plays in every package, he entered Sunday having played 87.7 percent of the team's offensive snaps. His five touchdowns out of the slot were tied for the most in the NFL entering Week 10.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Edelman, since he became a full-time starter in 2013, had been targeted 365 times by Tom Brady -- almost 100 targets more than Rob Gronkowski, who is second over that span with 270. Without Edelman and running back Dion Lewis, the Patriots have lost two players who accounted for nearly 40 percent of the their receptions this year. Lewis was lost for the season last week after suffering a torn ACL.
In Edelman's absence, No. 3 receiver Danny Amendola saw an immediate increase in playing time in two-receiver packages and finished with 10 receptions for 79 yards. No. 4 receiver Aaron Dobson also bumped one spot up the depth chart.
Brady said Monday in an interview with WEEI that the Patriots will find ways to adapt after Edelman's injury, like they have done after Lewis' season-ending injury.
"There's different ways you're going to need to produce, and we'll need to find different ways to produce with the guys that are on the field," he said.
"It's just unfortunate to lose such a critical player. You've just gotta try to figure out different ways to get it done. Every team deals with injuries; we've been pretty banged up. Hopefully we can get some guys back and you just keep trying to fight and grind your way to the end of the season."