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Julian Edelman "can understand" why Martellus Bennett criticized Jimmy Garoppolo so harshly

BOSTON -- In the world of the New England Patriots, you just never know what old story might get dredged up out of nowhere.

The latest one involves comments made by Martellus Bennett last year about Jimmy Garoppolo, where the retired tight end had some harsh criticism of the quarterback. Now, largely out of nowhere, Julian Edelman has weighed in.

Appearing on the "I Am Athlete" podcast, Edelman was asked to read aloud those comments from Bennett, wherein Bennett said Garoppolo was a "b----" for not playing through a shoulder injury early in the 2016 season. Edelman responded to those quotes mostly in a diplomatic fashion, but he did say that he certainly understands where Bennett's coming from.

"I guess Jimmy was practicing and then decided not to play. And Jacoby [Brissett] played with no ligaments in his thumb, which -- you can't do that as a quarterback. You can't grip. And if it's your left [shoulder] -- a lot of guys got mad about it. A lot of guys got mad. I'm not gonna lie -- I got mad about it. You know, I sacrifice my body all day long. I was taking shots for this, numbing up that, ribs, broken ribs, shoulders, you know, Grade 3, hanging on my limbs, just to play."

Edelman concluded: "I can understand why Marty thinks like that."

Edelman -- a former QB, obviously -- was asked by host Brandon Marshall if a sprain in a quarterback's non-throwing shoulder is a big enough deal to miss time.

"I mean, I don't know," Edelman answered. "We're all football players here."

The issue at hand stemmed from Garoppolo suffering a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder in Week 2 of the 2016 season, when Tom Brady was serving his four-game suspension. Garoppolo missed the Patriots' Week 3 game against Houston -- a Thursday night game where Brissett quarterbacked the team to victory -- and then did not play the following week at home against Buffalo. The Patriots were shut out in that game, and though the team went 3-1 without Brady, Garoppolo's absence clearly left a sour taste for all involved -- to the point where the issue still resonates all these years (and Super Bowls) later.

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