THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams left guard David Edwards "took a shot" in practice last Thursday that was "consistent with everything we've done" up to this point in his career. But when he was playing with his two young daughters later that night, he said he didn't feel right.
He went through meetings the next morning and told himself that if he still didn't feel right, he should say something to the team. So he did, entering concussion protocol.
"After meetings were over around noon, talked to (Rams Vice President, Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott), Reggie was great," Edwards said Friday. "Talked to (head coach) Sean (McVay), Sean was great. And then our team docs kind of worked through that too."
Edwards cleared the protocol and does not carry an injury designation heading into this Sunday's game against the Cowboys at SoFi Stadium (1:25 p.m. pacific time, FOX), but his action drew attention in part because of the situation surrounding Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and how his head injury was handled in Weeks 3 and 4.
Edwards said those circumstances didn't influence his decision; rather, it was being the first time in his life that he "just didn't feel right."
"I felt like I owed it to my family and myself to speak up and say something," Edwards said. "You know, after that period of talking with team docs was over, I stopped worrying about me and just felt terrible for the fact that I couldn't be out there with the guys felt like I was letting guys down."
Those feelings were eased by talking with teammates, coaches and his family. The decision was influenced by past experience.
Edwards recalled going through "a pretty nasty injury" during his final season at the University of Wisconsin and playing through it. He said the Badgers weren't performing well as a team, nor was he individually, and it took a toll on him.
"I think a lot of lessons were learned in that year of my life," Edwards said. "Going back to what I said earlier, I just owed it to myself to say something. It's one of those things (where), you can scan your shoulder and say you're out 4-6 weeks; you can't scan your brain and say you're out 4-6 weeks. It's kind of how you're feeling. It wasn't a hard decision for me to go talk and say something to Reggie, it was hard for me after - just how I felt, felt like I was letting people down, stuff like that."
Edwards leaned on right tackle and team captain Rob Havenstein and center Brian Allen to help get over those feelings. Allen is going through it right now having been sidelined since undergoing a knee cleanup procedure early in Week 2, and while Edwards acknowledged it's a different injury than what he's going through, Allen still provided valuable support.
"I called him during the game and was like, 'How are you doing?', you know? Because I had never gone through that myself," Edwards said.
On Friday, Edwards said he felt "great" and "ready to go." And even though he experienced those aforementioned feelings, he knows the decision he made last week was in his and the team's best interests.
"After talking with the guys, the coaches and my family, if I'm not right, I'm not going to be doing a good thing for our team," Edwards said. "Once I looked at it from that perspective, it kind of cleared any of that anxiety or negative talk."