DETROIT -- New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman fears he tore his right ACL when he suffered a noncontact injury two minutes into Friday's preseason game against the Detroit Lions, league sources told ESPN's Jeff Darlington.
The Patriots do not yet know the severity of Edelman's injury, but a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the team also suspects it is an ACL tear. An MRI is scheduled for Saturday to determine the full extent of the injury.
Asked after the game about Edelman, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he did not have an update.
Tom Brady, facing the loss of his most trusted receiver, said everyone on the Patriots is crossing their fingers.
"We'll see what the extent is," said Brady, who has played eight seasons with Edelman. "We're all hoping for the best. It's tough any time a teammate goes down. We've all been playing long enough where, when someone does, other people have to step in and fill the void.
"Hopefully that's not the case, but, you know, we'll figure it out tomorrow."
Edelman, 31, suffered the injury less than two minutes into the game. He was running an in-breaking route, beat linebacker Jarrad Davis and caught the ball at Detroit's 29-yard line. Edelman then turned up the field and planted his right foot into the turf at the 17 to avoid safety Tavon Wilson and lunged forward. He immediately reached to the back of his right knee.
Edelman walked off the field limping but unassisted. After a few minutes of being looked at in a makeshift tent, he was taken by cart to the locker room.
Edelman, who in June signed a two-year contract extension through 2019, had three catches for 52 yards before the injury. The Patriots used Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola with Edelman out of the game, which they won 30-28.
"He's a player you can't really replace, the way he works, the way he plays out on the field, the way he loves the game and the passion he has," tight end Rob Gronkowski told ESPN. "So we're just hoping for the best."
Said Amendola: "You never want to see a guy leave the game due to injury. It's a rough game. Stuff like that happens sometimes. He's there for us, we're there for him. Whatever it is, however it shakes out, he's a really tough kid. Mentally, physically, one of the toughest you'll find."
New England's offense would take a significant hit should Edelman miss any time.
He has 436 receptions (including playoffs) since 2013, the season after Wes Welker left for the Denver Broncos. That's 187 more than any other Patriots player in that span (Gronkowski, 249).
Brady would lose one of his most reliable pass-catchers. Edelman has caught 397 career passes from him, third most in team history, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Since 2009, Edelman's first season with the Patriots, New England is 84-19 (.816) in games the receiver has played and 15-10 (.600) without him, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Damn hate to see that happen. I'm praying for a fast recovery for @edelman11 ! Hard worker and great competitor.— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) August 26, 2017
ESPN's Mike Reiss contributed to this report.