Matthew Slater and Julian Edelman are the two longest-tenured Patriots.
Their lockers have stood next to one another for years in Foxboro.
Over that time, they’ve become close friends.
So naturally, when news of Edelman’s placement on the team’s COVID-19 reserve list broke Monday night, Slater expressed concern for his longtime teammate.
“It’s been that kind of year. And I feel for Julian,” Pats captain Matthew Slater told reporters. “Julian is such a great friend. But there’s one thing I know: if there’s one person who can find a way to overcome all those things, it’s him. And I know that he’ll do that.
“So I think right now we just want to pray that he’s OK, and he’s feeling well, and that hopefully this is something that he can move past rather quickly.”
Edelman must now self-quarantine for 10 days. His placement on the COVID-19 reserve list indicates he has either tested positive for the virus or been identified as a high-risk close contact of someone who has. Edelman will remain on injured reserve as self-quarantines. He was placed on IR on Oct. 31 after undergoing surgery for a chronic knee issue.
He won’t be designated to return from IR until he clears the 10-day quarantine window, receives clearance from a team physician and then returns to practice. The soonest Edelman can be expected to play — provided he’s been cleared — is Dec. 20 at Miami. Before then, the Pats are scheduled to kick off at the Chargers on Sunday afternoon and then at the Rams next Thursday night.
“It’s tough, the whole virus thing’s really tough. But Jules, like he always does, will bounce back,” Patriots center David Andrews said. “He’s one of the tougher guys we’ve got in the locker room. And he’s always ready to go. And I know he’ll look at it as another challenge and do what he’s done his whole career.”