Out A Year, Edwards Comes Back Strong



August 23, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

When Dwan Edwards looks in the mirror, he sees the same defensive tackle who made 13 starts in 2007 while filling in for an injured Trevor Pryce - with one exception.

Just below Edwards' Adam's apple is a 3-inch scar, a visual reminder of how he missed the entire 2008 season because of a bulging disc in his neck discovered just after the team's second preseason contest.

"Just kind of a fluke thing and they had to keep me out for precautionary reasons," Edwards said nonchalantly. "I got it taken care of, had about a year off, and I'm good to go now."

Edwards said the setback was disappointing because he felt like he had been having a strong preseason before the injury was discovered.

Edwards has regained his footing among the defensive tackles and is part of a rotation that includes, among others, Kelly Gregg, Haloti Ngata and Justin Bannan. Edwards made three tackles and recovered a fumble that the Ravens converted into a touchdown in a 23-0 shutout of the Washington Redskins in both teams' preseason opener Aug. 13.

Edwards said he is eager to begin the regular season.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm in good shape. I'm getting a lot of reps and a lot of work. So I'm looking forward to having a good year."

Starters to see more time

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the starters will play into the second quarter and perhaps a half in Monday night's preseason game against the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium.

He indicated that some starters - probably older veterans such as linebacker Ray Lewis, defensive end Pryce and free safety Ed Reed - would be on snap counts.

"We'll do it individual like we always do," Harbaugh said.

Despite conceding that he thought Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs would have been back by now from his strained left heel injury, Harbaugh reiterated after Saturday's practice that it's "nothing serious."

"You just go with what the trainers and doctors tell you," Harbaugh said. "You got the heel and it got sheared in there a little bit. It's hard to heal. It's really delicate."

Since being injured Aug. 2, Suggs has missed the final 20 days of training camp.

Suggs' absence has been beneficial for William VanDeSteeg. The undrafted linebacker-defensive end has been rotating with fellow rookie and second-round pick Paul Kruger in Suggs' spot, giving the coaches an extended glimpse of his abilities.

End zone

When the scout team went to a Wildcat formation yesterday, rookie running back Cedric Peerman lined up as quarterback - a position he hadn't played since his time in youth football leagues. "I can't throw," the sixth-round draft pick said. "I have the smallest hands in the world, probably. It's really hard for me to get that pass off. But other than that, I think I did OK." ... This summer's training camp set a new attendance record for a nonscrimmage camp, drawing an announced 94,800, according to Bob Eller, vice president of operations. It's the second-largest attendance at camp since 111,492 showed up in 2001.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.

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