FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Julian Edelman likes where he is.

“I feel like I’m the best me right now,” Edelman said. “I’m living my best life.”

Edelman’s life got appreciably better on Thursday night. For the first time since Super Bowl LI, the Patriots’ veteran wide receiver-return man was playing in a meaningful game.

Catching a 9-yard pass on the game’s first offensive play, finishing the night with seven receptions on nine targets for 57 yards and adding another 20 yards to the cause on two punt returns, Edelman contributed to the 38-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium that improved the Patriots to 3-2.

“That was great,” quarterback Tom Brady said of the game-opening pass over the middle. “I mean, we wanted to get him involved and he made some great plays. (It was) just good to have him out there.”

Edelman spent the 2017 season on the sidelines after tearing his right ACL. He sat out the first four games of this season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.


On Thursday, Edelman caught three passes for 28 yards on the game-opening touchdown drive that put the Patriots ahead to stay and added four more receptions in the second half. He averaged 10 yards on the two punt returns, but room was left for improvement.

It’s difficult to overlook Edelman’s glaring third-down drop on the Patriots’ second possession with the team in Colts territory, but overall Edelman made an impact.

“It was great,” he said. “There’s some things that obviously we have to work on, but it was good to get out there and catch some rocks and go out and make some plays and be with the fellas.”

The Patriots took care of business. Now, they’re taking some time off.

In the aftermath of Thursday’s win, the Patriots aren’t due back at Gillette Stadium until Monday.

Yes, two wins in less than a week earns a long weekend off, even from Coach Bill Belichick.


“We’ve had two games in five days. Everybody is tired. Everybody worked hard the last five days and then played a late night game,” Belichick said Friday.

The workload will be heavy next week as the Patriots prepare for the Chiefs, who are 4-0 heading into Sunday’s game with Jacksonville, one of two remaining unbeaten teams (Rams).

The Patriots, on the other hand, are 3-2 after starting 1-2 with consecutive double-digit losses on the road to the Jaguars and Lions.

WITH HIS 10 catches in 14 targets for 77 yards and a touchdown on Thursday night, James White has 32 receptions through five games and is on pace to tie the NFL single-season record of 102 receptions by a running back, set by Matt Forte with the Chicago Bears in 2014.

White is on pace to top Tony Collins’ Patriots franchise record of 77 set in 1986.

THE PATRIOTS have released cornerback-punt returner Cyrus Jones for a second time this season, according to reports Saturday.

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