While most players on the football team and the coaching staff spent last Saturday celebrating the start of the new season with fans at CanesFest, Gus Edwards was having surgery on his left foot to determine if he would play at all this year.
The surgery revealed Edwards’ injury was more serious than the team initially believed, and the junior running back was ruled out for the season.
“Disappointed for him,” Coach Al Golden said at a press conference Tuesday. “He worked really hard, but he’s going to be back.”
The six-foot-two, 241-pound Staten Island native was Miami’s third leading rusher last season with 349 yards on the ground, averaging 5.7 yards a carry.
Edwards missed two practices last week with his ailing left foot. The team has not disclosed exactly what the injury is, but Gus “The Bus” won’t be carrying the ball for the Canes this season.
The team is still feeling Edwards’ imposing presence, though. The third-year player has continued to attend team meetings and offer support to the other running backs.
“He’s been a leader and he’s continuing to do that,” Golden said of Edwards.
Sophomore running back Joseph Yearby is dedicating the season to Edwards.
“That was our big brother,” Yearby said after practice Tuesday. “It’s going to be hard not seeing him on the field.”
Edwards, Yearby, sophomore Trayone “Choc” Gray and freshman Mark Walton split carries evenly with the starting offense in preseason camp. The team was well prepared for an unfortunate injury.
“We gave all four guys reps with the [starters],” Golden said. “We don’t feel like we’ll miss a beat there, but we feel badly for Gus.”
Gray is disappointed for Edwards, but sees his injury as an opportunity for the rest of the group.
“We’ve got to step up. We’re missing one back, but we still have to fill the shoes Gus left,” Gray said. “We’re all gonna eat.”
The Hurricanes take on Bethune-Cookman 6 p.m. Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.