With New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo battling a shoulder injury, the Patriots turned to rookie Jacoby Brissett to start in his place for Thursday night's 27–0 win over the Texans.
But with Tom Brady suspended until Week 5 and Garoppolo listed as doubtful, Julian Edelman was essentially the team’s backup on Thursday—and after reports emerged that Brissett injured his thumb during the second half of Thursday's game, he may have a legit chance to start at QB in Week 4 against the Bills.
Yes, Julian Edelman the wide receiver.
Luckily, he has some experience at the position—even throwing a memorable touchdown pass in the NFL. Ahead of Thursday’s game between the Texans and Patriots—which you can watch live on SI.com—here's a look at Edelman's career throwing passes rather than catching them.
Three–year college starter
Edelman played quarterback in both high school and college. He accounted for more than 3,200 yards and 42 touchdowns at Woodside High School in California in 2004.
In 2005, at the College of San Mateo, Edelman threw for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns. He rushed for a school-record 1,253 yards and 17 touchdowns and earned All–America honors. He then transferred to Kent State University, where he started at quarterback for the next three seasons.
Over three years at Kent State, he threw for 4997 yards, 30 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. A dual-threat quarterback, he also ran for 2483 yards on 502 carries (4.9 YPC) and scored 22 touchdowns. He caught just one pass for 11 yards in college.
His best season came as a senior, where he threw for 1,860 yards, 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions with a 55.6 percent completion percentage. He was also Kent State's leading rusher, running 215 times for 1,370 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Here's a look at some of Edelman's highlights at Kent State. Warning: Turn the volume down unless you like your Edelman passes with a side of AC/DC.
He has thrown one (very important) pass in the NFL
The Patriots drafted Edelman in 2009, converting him into a wide receiver and punt returner. Since then, he has become one of Tom Brady's top targets.
He also has one career pass attempt—and it turned out to be pretty significant. Down seven to Baltimore late in the third quarter of a January 2015 playoff game, Edelman tossed a 51-yard touchdown to Danny Amendola, a critical score that tied the game at 28. New England prevailed 35–31 on its way to a Super Bowl title.
Edelman said after the game that the trick play—in which Brady threw backwards to Edelman on the far sideline, who then threw downfield to a wide-open Amendola—had been in the playbook for weeks.
Brady lauded his receiver’s arm after the game.
“He throws it better than I did,” Brady said. “He spun it. It was a perfect spiral right in stride.”
Is it Edelman time?
In a radio interview earlier this week, Brady said he was confident Edelman could be effective under center if the Patriots were forced to turn to their top receiver. Pats coach Bill Belichick said Edelman has taken throws in practice before, but was unsurprisingly vague about anything else.
Brissett led New England to a 27–0 win on Thursday, but with his status uncertain, we may see Edelman take over under center. Hopefully the Bills have been brushing up on their Kent State game film.