Patriots receiver Edelman facing drug ban

Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots runs for yards after a first quarter catch while playing the Detroit Lions during a preseason game at Ford Field on August 25, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan

Los Angeles (AFP) – New England Patriots star receiver Julian Edelman is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy, US media reports said on Thursday.

Edelman, who missed the entire 2017/18 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament during pre-season, is now set to miss the Patriots’ opening games against Houston, Jacksonville, Detriot and Miami.

ESPN reported that the 32-year-old receiver was appealing against his suspension. 

A source told the broadcaster’s website that Edelman had taken “hundreds of tests” in the past and never tested positive.

If Edelman’s ban is confirmed, it will deprive quarterback Tom Brady of one of his favoured receiving options.

Edelman and Brady are close both on and off the field and regularly workout together in the off-season.

The suspension would also be another jolt to a Patriots receiving corps which is already facing a makeover this season following the departures of Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks.

Edelman, who famously made a miracle catch during the Patriots’ comeback Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons in 2017, has made 425 receptions for 4,540 yards during his career.