Julian Edelman (thumb) to miss start of training camp

Youngsters in the New England Patriots receiving corps will have even more opportunity to show off at the start of training camp.

Receiver Julian Edelman is expected to be sidelined multiple weeks due to a left thumb injury, NFL Network's Michael Giardi reports, per a source informed of the injury.

ESPN first reported the news, noting Edelman was spotted at his youth camp over the weekend wearing a small brace on the thumb.

It's unclear how Edelman suffered the injury. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport added that Edelman sustained "mild trauma" on the thumb.

While it's not ideal for the Super Bowl champs to be without their most vital receiver as training camp opens, it's not the end of the world for a veteran to be eased into camp. Patriots veterans report Wednesday.

Edelman missing the first few weeks of camp will provide opportunities for others battling for snaps and roster spots to showcase their wares. The Pats enter camp with a boatload of questions at the position. First-round rookie N'Keal Harry, former first-rounder Phillip Dorsett, second-year player Braxton Berrios, veteran Dontrelle Inman -- battling for a roster spot -- Maurice Harris and others will be the focal point of the receiver corps as Edelman and Demaryius Thomas (PUP) heal.

The more snaps the younger players receive early in camp the better chance they'll have to carve out roles heading into the 2019 campaign, when Edelman should be full-go to resume his role as Tom Brady's security blanket.

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