Julian Edelman didn’t say the words “Boston,” “Celtics” or Hayward,” but a wry smile and a custom No. 11 jersey in green gave a heavy wink and a nod to a reported Boston sports workout collaboration.
Fresh off a four-game PED suspension, Edelman made his 2018 NFL debut in the New England Patriots‘ win over the Indianapolis Colts, logging seven catches for 57 yards. After the game, he took to the podium in a Celtics jersey, a day after a report emerged that he’d worked out with the Boston Celtics during his suspension.
Rather than confirm the report, Edelman played coy about this one particular offseason workout, However, did allude to his ping-pong matchup against Celtics star Gordon Hayward.
“I worked out in Brighton with some tall guys so I’ll leave it at that,” Edelman said.” And tell Gordon easy on the ping pong talk. He’s got a special paddle. He’s got a special paddle. I didn’t bring my paddle to the facilities so we’ll leave it at that.”
Here’s a look at Edelman in his custom No. 11 jersey (not to be confused with a No. 11 Kyrie Irving jersey).
Edelman (in the custom jersey) catching up with Jacoby Brissett after the game pic.twitter.com/ojZ0Dedsun
— Nick O’Malley (@nickjomalley) October 5, 2018
Outside of his reported workout with the Celtics, Edelman acknowledged the many people who helped him out during his month away from the Patriots, including former teammate Rob Ninkovich.
“I mean, I definitely took advantage of the time coming off an injury,” Edelman said. “I had a good routine going, Brian from the Edge, I had Ninkovich out there, Harvard was very generous to let me use their facilities, Boston College, Rivers Academy, Foxborough. It was pretty cool to see all the support from all these people and these organizations and these places so I definitely took advantage of it. But I still can get better.”
With the win, the Patriots improved to 3-2 as they work to catch up with the Miami Dolphins atop the AFC East. The Celtics, meanwhile, continue their preseason work until they open the season on Oct. 19.
Until then, Hayward will have to find a new ping pong partner — with or without his special paddle.