Monday, October 6, 2008
Edwards' status uncertain as post-concussion symptoms linger
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards was described as alert but still experiencing post-concussion symptoms Monday, leaving his status uncertain as the team enters its bye week.
Coach Dick Jauron sidestepped questions regarding the quarterback's health, except to say that Edwards showed up at the Bills' headquarters a day after being slammed to the ground on the third play from scrimmage during a 41-17 loss at Arizona.
Jauron wouldn't say whether he expected Edwards to take part in any of the team's three practices this week, and added it was too early to determine whether the quarterback would be ready to play when Buffalo (4-1) hosts San Diego (2-3) on Oct. 19.
When asked whether Edwards would require more tests, Jauron closed the discussion of the player by saying, "I've really said about all I'm going to say about Trent and leave it at that." He then referred questions to Bills head trainer Bud Carpenter, who declined requests to speak to reporters.
Receiver Lee Evans, who spoke with Edwards, described the quarterback as "alert" and noted that "he seemed to be doing all right." Without going into detail, Evans said it was apparent that Edwards was still "dealing with some things, so it's going to be a little time."
Safety Donte Whitner said he expected Edwards to return in time for the Bills' next game.
"If I had to bet, I'll say he'll be back for San Diego," Whitner said. "He just had a little ding."
Edwards was hurt when the back of his helmet bounced off the turf after being hit head-on by blitzing safety Adrian Wilson, who broke in untouched from the quarterback's right side.
It happened a split-second after Edwards completed a 13-yard pass over the middle to James Hardy. Edwards lay on the field for a couple of minutes and needed help to the sideline, where trainers paid careful attention to his neck.
Edwards was then carted to the locker room and did not return.
The injury rattled the Bills, who have come to rely on his ability to lead the offense. The former third-round draft pick had played a key role in helping Buffalo win its first four games -- the team's best start in 16 years. Edwards helped engineer fourth-quarter comeback victories in each of his previous three games.
Things went downhill two plays after Edwards was hurt, when backup J.P. Losman botched a hand-off with Marshawn Lynch, which resulted in a fumble that set up Arizona's first touchdown.
Losman looked rusty appearing in his first game since a 36-14 loss at Jacksonville on Nov. 25, after which he lost the starting job to Edwards for the second time that season. Losman finished 15-of-21 for 220 yards, including an 87 yard touchdown to Evans, but also threw an interception and lost two fumbles.
"I felt the whole day, I was rushing a little bit, maybe rushing through my reads," Losman said. "Maybe I was just rushing a little bit because I haven't been under fire like that in a while. I'm glad it happened early on in the season so as we go on, I'll be more prepared for the situation."
Losman would take over as the interim starter if Edwards can't play.
The NFL leaves it up to the discretion of a team's medical staff to determine when a player can resume practicing or playing after sustaining a concussion. The only rule is that a player who loses consciousness would not be allowed to return in the same game or practice.
That differs from the NHL, which requires a player to be symptom-free for seven days before being cleared for practice.