The Dolphins may have caught a break Thursday amid reports that New England receiver Julian Edelman is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs — a penalty that would keep him out of the Patriots’ Sept. 30 home game against Miami.
Edelman, 32, missed the 2017 season because of an ACL injury. He also would miss games against the Texans, Jaguars and Lions.
The penalty is being appealed.
In 12 games against Miami, Edelman has victimized the Dolphins more than any other NFL team, recording 731 receiving yards. He also has 55 catches against Miami (most of any team other than the Jets) and five touchdown passes (tied for the most).
The Patriots, of course, still have tight end Rob Gronkowski, who skipped voluntary workouts and is eyeing a new contract, but targets for Tom Brady are wearing thin.
Among the losses this offseason is Danny Amendola, who caught 61 passes for 659 yards in 2017 but was signed by the Dolphins.
Brandin Cooks, who had 1,082 receiving yards, was traded to the Rams.
Running back Dion Lewis, who caught 32 passes for 214 yards, signed with the Titans.
The Patriots still have former Dolphin Chris Hogan, who had 439 yards and five TDs last year, and running back James White, who accounted for 429 receiving yards and three TDs.
Edelman’s absence could benefit former Miami Hurricane Braxton Berrios, selected by New England in the sixth round, 210th overall.
The Patriots also have Malcolm Mitchell, a fourth-rounder who missed last season with a knee injury and also missed some voluntary workouts this summer.
Newcomers also include Jordan Matthews, who had 282 yards for the Bills last year, and Cordarrelle Patterson, the ex-Vikings first-round pick held to 309 yards for the Raiders in 2017.
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