The New England Patriots have confirmed Julian Edelman will miss the entire 2017 season due to the knee injury he suffered in Friday's pre-season game against the Detroit Lions.
Wide receiver Edelman went down while making a catch in the Patriots' 30-28 win, prompting fears he had suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
On Saturday, a tweet from New England's official account read: "#Patriots confirm Julian Edelman suffered an injury to his right knee in last night's game and will miss the 2017 season."
With 98 catches for 1,106 yards, Edelman was easily New England's leading receiver last year as the side went on to be crowed Super Bowl champions.
#Patriots confirm Julian Edelman suffered an injury to his right knee in last night's game and will miss the 2017 season.-- New England Patriots (@Patriots) August 26, 2017
In a conference call with reporters, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said: "Julian is a big competitor, works hard, is tough, does all the things that you ask him to do. So I feel badly for him, of course.
"We feel badly for Julian and hope that he will have a speedy and complete recovery, but the team will have to move on and we'll have to compete in this season without him.
"It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is, so we'll have to figure that out."