Two weeks after the signing of Ray Edwards, the Falcons say he will not play in their first exhibition game Friday night against Miami.
“He had a minor procedure,” coach Mike Smith said.
A minor procedure? Like a nose job? Mole removal? Breast augmentation?
No. It turns out that Edwards had “minor” knee surgery sometime during this offseason. Smith revealed this in explaining why Edwards will not play Friday, adding that, “We are bringing him along slowly.”
We know all too well how secretive NFL teams can be, particularly when it comes to injuries. But this is the fourth offseason surgery that we’ve learned about just since training camp has opened. Three players — defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder), running back Michael Turner (groin) and wide receiver and returner Eric Weems (knee) — all disclosed during interviews with media members that that they had offseason surgeries.
Or, depending on your perspective, “minor procedures.”
It would be simpler if the Falcons just disclosed who underwent surgeries all at once. But they apparently view that as some competitive disadvantage. I don’t know about that. I think opposing blockers are going to try obliterate Edwards regardless.
Turner inadvertently br0ught up his groin surgery the other when explaining why he didn’t attend any of the player workouts during the lockout. Now, of course, don’t you just know that every linebacker is going to try to hit Turner in the groin. (Sarcasm.)
Edwards was already off the field when Smith disclosed his surgery, so we can’t be certain when the surgery was. Two weeks ago? Two months ago? Was it before or after he was signed? Was it before or after his four-round boxing match on May 20 against T.J. Gibson at a Minnesota casino? Was it a result of the boxing match? (That would be bad.)
The Falcons got Edwards for less than he had hoped for in the open market (five years, $30 million, $11 million guaranteed.) If other teams were scared off by the surgery, it would explain the soft market.
Just an educated guess here: Edwards, who hasn’t taken part in contact drills, won’t play in the second preseason game either. There’s no reason to believe he won’t be the impact player on defense the Falcons hope for and expect. But right now, he’s just the latest in a line of surgeries nobody outside the organization knew about. And there’s still about two weeks left in camp.
By Jeff Schultz