In the perfect world, Robert Edwards would be in Foxborough, Mass., this week preparing for the 1999 season. But instead, the Patriots' running back is in Athens, Ga., rehabilitating from an injury many feel is career-threatening.
Edwards, who badly injured his knee in a beach football game in Hawaii in Feburary, was the subject of a cover story in USA Today on Wednesday. Edwards will definitely miss the 1999 season and may never play again.
The following are some of his comments in the piece:
"It felt like we weren't ever going to get to the hospital. First, it took a while to get me into an ambulance, and then they stopped at every red light. I kept yelling 'Turn on the siren!'"
"I thought I was one of the good guys. I don't smoke weed. I've never been arrested. I'm not the kind of guy who doesn't give his all. So why didn't it happen to one of the bad guys? Because an accident like this wouldn't change them. It still wouldn't make them care. But I know I can make a difference."
"If you give up believing you'll get better, it's a lost cause. Accept the fact that you got hurt. Have faith that you'll be completely healthy one day. Tell yourself that miracles happen all the time."
"I'd gained instant fame at running back. It was overwhelming and overpowering. Fame makes you forget who you really are. My broken foot [in college] led me back to myself."
"I'd like to build off my rookie year, but if I'm to be a messenger in another arena, so be it. I'll fight until the end. And I won't stop until I take my last breath. Whatever the plan is for me, I know it'll be something better."