Falcons’ latest secret: Ray Edwards had knee surgery

Ray Edwards hasn't taken part in any contact drills because of offseason knee surgery. (AP photo)

Ray Edwards hasn't taken part in any contact drills because of offseason knee surgery. (AP photo)

Two weeks after the signing of Ray Edwards, the Falcons say he will not play in their first exhibition game Friday night against Miami.

Why not?

“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

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

84 comments Add your comment

And it begins

August 10th, 2011
12:50 pm

Buyer beware!

D-Man

August 10th, 2011
12:50 pm

Spanky

August 10th, 2011
12:51 pm

Who cares, as long as he’s good to go by opening day!….First?

Spanky

August 10th, 2011
12:51 pm

J.J.M.

August 10th, 2011
12:52 pm

no wonder he took less money

And it begins

August 10th, 2011
12:52 pm

Nope, I was FIRST! WHAT DO I WIN JEFF?

DJ Sniper

August 10th, 2011
12:53 pm

I wouldn’t be too concerned. I’m quite sure that every team has several players who had offseason surgery. I expect #93 to be ready for the Bears on 9/11.

Jeff Schultz

August 10th, 2011
12:53 pm

JJM — The “less money” thing is interesting. We’ll never know how much — if at all — this scared other teams off.

Tony

August 10th, 2011
12:54 pm

OVERREACTING!

It could not have been that bad otherwise the birds would NOT have signed him. The surgery was obviously before his fight (never heard of somebody boxing on a bad leg), not to mention the nfl was in the middle of a lockout that could end at anytime. Why would he wait until the last second to have knee surgery knowing he could be a FA anyday?

Scott

August 10th, 2011
12:54 pm

Reporters should report on what they know about. Not bitch about what they didn’t know about.

Jeff Schultz

August 10th, 2011
12:54 pm

And it begins — If you go to Starbucks and tell them you were first commenter on my column, they will give you a grande for about $2.06. … Also you get a pat on the back.

And it begins

August 10th, 2011
12:56 pm

I wonder. Teams don’t let good DE’s walk so why were the Vikings so willing to let Edwards walk and go with a guy that has 2 career sacks and that’s 2 years older? There was very little interest in him during FA. The Falcons didn’t get swindled did they? I HOPE NOT!!!

TIM

August 10th, 2011
12:57 pm

HA HA…..The starting def end CAN”T play in an exh game. LOSER!

PMC

August 10th, 2011
12:57 pm

Unless he’s wearing a knee brace seriously. Much ado about nothing.

My gosh. Unless you’re a degenerate gambler betting 1st Quarter of preseason games.

This news tells you nothing. If the Falcons were at all concerened about it, they wouldn’t have signed him to a contract.

Really...

August 10th, 2011
12:58 pm

Smith should have waited until Friday at 7pm to announce that Edwards had surgery. Now that Miami has this knowledge, how in the world are we going to beat them????

Plano BirdDawg

August 10th, 2011
1:01 pm

Seems like TD’s achilles heel is his propensity to sign player with injury issues. Let’s hope Edwards can play.

Plano BirdDawg

August 10th, 2011
1:03 pm

Let’s try that again:
Seems like TD’s achilles heel is his propensity to sign players with injury issues. Let’s hope Edwards can play when the regular season starts.

PMC

August 10th, 2011
1:04 pm

The Vikings are about to Walk to LA, they paid his backup more money than him. Conflict of interest with Edwards. Atlanta gets a guy who gets 8 sacks a year. That’s a massive upgrade over what they’ve had the last 5 years.

DJ Sniper

August 10th, 2011
1:04 pm

I haven’t heard anything about Edwards being injury prone at all. If you watch the preseason games this weekend, you will see several teams hold out big name players because of this. Nothing to be concerned with at all. No sense in rushing him back until the season starts.

Loyal Dawg

August 10th, 2011
1:07 pm

Thanks Jeff, for throwing a bucket of cold water in my face and bringing me back to reality. :-)

PMC

August 10th, 2011
1:13 pm

Curtis Lofton also had offseason knee surgery…

@# FREAK OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dick Tracy

August 10th, 2011
1:17 pm

Ok boys I’ll get to the bottom of this..hand loose!!!!!!

Dick Tracy

August 10th, 2011
1:19 pm

are is that hang loose?

bart

August 10th, 2011
1:19 pm

Advances in surgical techniques have changed how players rehabilitate. A lot of these nagging injuries, players just would have lived with in the past. Now with advances in scope surgery and recovery time in weeks vs months, these repairs have become commonplace to get a players back to top performance. Chipper had knee surgery a few weeks ago and is back on the field. Just not the big deal it used to be.

Actually Jeff, a nose job would probably be a bigger deal.

1eyedJack

August 10th, 2011
1:24 pm

Jeff, you could give out Atta-boy certificates for being first.

honest_abe

August 10th, 2011
1:24 pm

look the point being nobody was aware of the injury and nobody knows how serious it is. which leave the possibility that it COULD impair his performance this year.

from what i’ve heard he’s looked good in non contact drills. so hopefully this is much ado about nothing. but the falcons were the only team interested in signing this 26 year pass rusher (these typically are in high demand) so go figure.

yo mama

August 10th, 2011
1:40 pm

the report said minor surgery. on one knee. i dont see anyone complaining about Curtis Loftons surgery on both of his knees. lots of stoopid folks on here. basically, they are using it as smoke screen to keep him healthy for opening day. anyone remember Dunta’s hammy all last year? they are going to save him til the season starts. who wants the prize FA injured in a meaningless game? need to get smarter folks. read between the lines, and stop complaining about preseason games. its for the lower round picks, and fa’s to compete for the few spots that remain. Ryan will execute one series or two, then sit. cmon, already!

Danny O

August 10th, 2011
2:00 pm

Where’s the Count? I hope his next appearance isn’t in the obituaries…

Dee

August 10th, 2011
2:02 pm

It’s articles like these are why teams don’t publish injury information right away. Some sports writers are as judgmental and wildly tempermental as the people who post in the comments sections.

Kane337

August 10th, 2011
2:02 pm

0-16 staring us in the face.

B-Baller-4real-deal

August 10th, 2011
2:10 pm

Jeff, “Breast augmentation” ? LMAO.

Dang, I hope this guy isn’t Ray Edwards in Sean Witherspoon skin ?

B-Baller-4real-deal

August 10th, 2011
2:12 pm

Edwards will have 5 sacks and 25 cortizone shots this year…

ICEMANcometh10

August 10th, 2011
2:12 pm

A practice dummy could be used for tackling to get ready for the game. Some of you should go the a Falcons practice and stand still to be tackled. PANIC is in the air. Even if he gets 5 sacks this year we DID NOT lose anything. Some of you should have gotten off season brain surgery.

Lockout Quietness

August 10th, 2011
2:12 pm

Lots of players have shown up with injuries, surgeries, that teams didn’t know about as they couldn’t talk with the players from March until just recently. And as a player (or an agent) is not going to divulge something like that when they are free agents, it’s just buyer beware (or in case of injured players already under contract, employer beware).
Would have liked to see the NFLPA* reaction to the owners saying that no player will be paid if they were injured during the lockout.

Trashy Joe

August 10th, 2011
2:13 pm

He mighta got a penal extension ?

Trashy Joe

August 10th, 2011
2:14 pm

Lebotomy eh ?

Just The Facts

August 10th, 2011
2:15 pm

Geraldo Rivera aka Jeff Schultz….I would not tell you anything either. You’re just a thorn in the side of Atlanta Sports (both players & management) with all of your negativity.

Rim-Rocker-4-Shore

August 10th, 2011
2:15 pm

I see now why the Patriots or Eagles didn’t sign Edwards. They probably did their homework on him.

Jimmy Crack

August 10th, 2011
2:17 pm

NO WONDER! I thought Edwards was kind of cheap for an 8 sack/season DE. Great, so instead of Matt Dillon patrolling the End position, we got Festus.

That’s it man, game over man, game over! What the #$@! are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do? We’re on an express elevator to hell; going down!

Rim-Rocker-4-Shore

August 10th, 2011
2:18 pm

Rumor has it he got admantium injections into his extremeties… He will sack Aaron Rodgers then scrape his face off…

Tre-Man-Ups

August 10th, 2011
2:20 pm

ESPN reporting Edwards got breast implants…

Michael

August 10th, 2011
2:21 pm

Jamaal Anderson is with the Colts, Jenkins is with McNabb in Minnesota.

B-Baller-4Real-Deal

August 10th, 2011
2:22 pm

I meant Sean Witherspoon in Ray Edwards skin… Excuse me, I’m simultaneously trying to blog and watch the 1980 Celtics-Lakers championship on VHS tape…

mike

August 10th, 2011
2:23 pm

It does not matter any way since this team is not going anywhere. They will win a few games but peter out as always. Just like the baseball team. These two can never get to the big show.

B-Baller-4Real-Deal

August 10th, 2011
2:23 pm

Norwood is a Damn Ram.

B-Baller-4Real-Deal

August 10th, 2011
2:25 pm

Jeff, can they give me a rum & coke at Starbucks ?

B-Baller-4Real-Deal

August 10th, 2011
2:26 pm

Atta-girl one eyed jacks…

reckingball

August 10th, 2011
2:39 pm

This is getting into Chris Chase territory.

dtanner

August 10th, 2011
2:44 pm

if you notice most of these pro athletes bust ass until they get the big contract,then they get slack

AJC should do better.......

August 10th, 2011
2:45 pm

This is normal, probably just had the knee scoped. I’m more worried about the reports that Turner showed up a little on the heavy side this year. What’s the deal with Turner, is he in shape or what?