Photo: Steven Senne (AP)

ESPN’s Field Yates and Adam Schefter reported Thursday afternoon that Julian Edelman is facing a four-game PED suspension from the NFL, pending an ongoing appeal. This is important news, for a number of reasons: New England’s receiving corps was thinned out during the offseason, making Edelman’s production as important as ever; Edelman missed all of last season after suffering an ACL tear in August; and Edelman was apparently working with Tom Brady–whisperer and noted quack Alex Guerrero during his recovery.

This news wasn’t broken by Yates and Schefter. The fact of the suspension was broken Wednesday by, of all people, an anonymous Reddit user with the handle Redditlover1981, on a Patriots fan subreddit. Redditlover1981—evidently a fan of the Patriots and Call of Duty and Fortnite—nailed the details of Edelman’s suspension in a post helpfully titled “Rumor: Edelman potentially getting suspended for 4 games for PED’s.” Social media, and Reddit in particular, is a repository for a lot of rumors and theories, but it’s surprising—although maybe a little less surprising today than it was, say, a week ago—to see an anonymous rumor hit the nail on the head, and just hours before the news broke via more traditional reporting outlets.

Redditlover1981 cited nothing more than “local radio and some twitter chatter” as sources for the rumor, a lack of specificity that led to speculation that Redditlover1981 could be an ESPN or Patriots insider using an anonymous social media account to spread information that had not otherwise been made public. Maybe it was a lucky guess! Maybe this person knows someone who knows someone who knows someone. Or maybe it’s Bill Belichick’s wife. Can’t rule it out! Anyway, let’s all reminisce about our previous coverage of Edelman’s exploits: