Starting quarterback Trent Edwards did not practice Tuesday for the Bills as he continues to recoup from a concussion he suffered last weekend at Arizona. His status remains somewhat of a mystery – his return still up in the air.
Head coach Dick Jauron hasn’t provided details.
“We follow a routine for any of our players that suffer a concussion so that’s what we’ll do with Trent,” Jauron said Monday. “And we’re into that routine and that protocol. He was pretty good after the game and I spoke to him then. We will follow it and continue to follow it through the week and we’ll continue to follow it as we move along and just see how it goes.”
Edwards did report to the team Tuesday at the Bills’ facilities, but Jauron did not elaborate on his comments from Monday. The good news is that the Bills’ quarterback was conscious enough to speak with family and friends outside of his locker room after the Bills’ defeat Sunday. Furthermore, several teammates said they have been in contact with Edwards and that he seems all-together and “alert,” as wide receiver Lee Evans described.
“I talked to him Monday and he seemed fine,” backup quarterback Gibran Hamdan said in The Buffalo News. “But I don’t have any idea of the parameters of this kind of thing.”
Safety Donte Whitner said that he believes Edwards will be ready for Buffalo’s next game on Oct. 19 after the bye week.
"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 knocked out in the first quarter of the Cardinals game when Adrian Wilson flew in untouched on a blitz. Edwards completed a 13-yard pass to James Hardy was blasted in his right side. He lay on the field for few minutes and needed help to the sideline. In Edwards’ place, backup quarterback J.P. Losman completed 15-of-21 passes for 220 yards with one touchdown, one interception and two fumbles.
Concussion injuries have obviously been a point of controversy in the NFL the past few years. The NFL allows teams’ medical staffs to determine how long a concussed player must sit out before returning. Last year, Detroit Lions quarterback Jon Kitna suffered a concussion in the first quarter of a game against Minnesota – the third concussion of his career. In what he described as a “miracle,” Kitna returned in the fourth quarter to lead the Lions to a 20-17 win in overtime. Several retired players have reported post-concussion syndromes, bringing the issue to the national forefront.
As far as Edwards’ case goes, the Bills aren’t saying much yet. Jauron refused to say whether Edwards required further testing, referring further questions to the team’s head trainer Bud Carpenter Monday. Naturally, Carpenter declined to comment.
If Trent Edwards’ concussion does indeed linger into more missed games, it’d be a brutal loss for the Bills. Edwards has engineered fourth quarter comeback wins in three of the Bills’ four victories. Despite an 87-yard touchdown bomb to Lee Evans, Losman struggled at the helm. He botched a hand-off to Marshawn Lynch that led to a fumble and the Cardinals’ first touchdown. Losman’s two lost fumbles and interception doomed Buffalo’s offense which had played mistake-free football through the first four games.
Losman – whose demise has been driven by jittery, happy feet in the pocket – admitted he entered Sunday’s game cold.
"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."
If Edwards does miss time, the keys will be turned to Losman. But in truth, the ball is Buffalo’s court. While the NHL requires players to show no concussion symptoms for seven days before returning, the NFL puts on the onus on the teams themselves.