New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is out for the season after suffering an ACL tear in his right knee in their 30-28 preseason win over the Detroit Lions Friday. The 31-year-old Edelman sustained the injury after going down on a non-contact play. He fell down after making his third catch of the opening drive before he limped off the field. Edelman was later carted to the locker room and did not return. Edelman underwent an MRI Saturday where it was confirmed that he sustained an ACL tear in his right knee. The Patriots later confirmed that Edelman will miss the 2017 season.

With Edelman lost for the season, the Patriots will rely on Chris Hogan and Brandin Cooks to step up. Rob Gronkowski and former Colts tight end Dwayne Allen could also become additional targets for Brady.

Patriots lost great competitor in Edelman

“I feel badly for him of course,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick, calling Edelman a great competitor and a hard worker for the team. Edelman recently signed a two-year deal worth $11 million, with $7 million guaranteed, with the Patriots before the offseason. A seventh-round pick by the Patriots in 2009, Edelman has played his entire career in New England. During his tenure, he has become one of Brady’s favorite targets, tallying at least 92 receptions in three of his last four seasons.

He also set a career high with 1,106 receiving yards last season. In his eight years with the Patriots, he caught 425 passes for 4,540 yards and 24 touchdowns. In an Instagram post, Brady expressed his sentiment over Edelman’s injury, posting a picture of them embracing with a caption “Gladiator.”

Patriots cut defensive end, Kony Ealy

The Patriots announced that they have released defensive end Kony Ealy, whom they acquired from the Carolina Panthers in March as a possible replacement for the retired Rob Ninkovich.

The Patriots shipped a second-round pick to the Panthers for Ealy and a third-round pick. The Patriots tried to find a trade destination for Ealy, but there were no takers for the fourth-year defensive end. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, Ealy never lived up to his potential, as he worked mainly with backups and end-of-roster players.

With Ealy gone, the Patriots will rely on young Trey Flowers as their top defensive end. In his three years with the Panthers, the 25-year-old Ealy tallied a total of 76 tackles with 14 sacks. Last season, he played 16 games, recording 32 tackles, 5.0 sacks and an interception for the Panthers.