The New England Patriots might have to wait a little longer to get Julian Edelman back on the field in the regular season.

The wide receiver is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Field Yates reported Thursday.

Edelman, 32, missed all of last season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in August. He recorded a career-high 1,106 receiving yards in 2016 and, alongside tight end Rob Gronkowski, has become one of Tom Brady’s most trusted targets.

But that appears to be the next avenue of pursuit for Kaepernick’s legal team, in a case that has only seemed to gain more traction with each passing month.

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Sometimes, with our young guys it feels a little quiet, because they’re all waiting for some older guy that doesn’t exist to step up, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said Wednesday. I’m about as old as they come. It might as well be me.

Perhaps the most necessary voice for such a role would belong to third-year quarterback Dak Prescott, who saw his completion percentage drop (from 67.8% to 62.9%) and his interception total rise (from four to 13) last year after his stellar rookie season in 2016.

There are signs that Prescott is growing more comfortable in his role as the team’s franchise quarterback. On Wednesday, he loudly barked at offensive lineman Chaz Green after a penalty during a two-minute drill, one play after receiver Allen Hurns hauled in a deep contested pass down the left sideline.

It wasn’t that Prescott wasn’t vocal before, but now he has no choice but to speak up.