Report: It's possible Julian Edelman's knee won't be healthy enough to play in 2021

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Earlier Friday, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport delivered the good news that three key Patriots who opted out of the 2020 season -- Dont’a Hightower, Patrick Chung and Marcus Cannon -- are all planning to return in 2021.

On Friday afternoon, Rapoport reported some more concerning news, though. According to Rapoport, wide receiver Julian Edelman wants to play in 2021 after missing 10 games in 2020, but there are questions about whether his knee will be healthy enough to do so.

“The veteran receiver, obviously a long-time face of the franchise in New England, still trying to work his way back from a knee injury that drastically shortened his 2020 season,” Rapoport said. “My understanding is he does want to play in 2021. That’s not the important thing. The important thing is, is his knee going to be healthy enough to play?

“He is still rehabbing, he is still recovering, still trying to see if he’s healthy enough to be out there for the 2021 season. No decision made yet on which way that is going to go.”

Edelman, who will be 35 when next season starts, had 21 catches for 315 yards last year, including a career-high 179 yards receiving in Week 2 against the Seahawks. He has one year left on his contract.