The San Francisco 49ers are on the verge of clinching their first playoff berth since 2002, and some players are already looking ahead and getting prepared for the second season in the NFL. One such player is wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who spoke of his own health in a locker room interview Monday transcribed by the Press Democrat's Grant Cohn.
Braylon has been dealing with an injury to his AC joint in his right knee since the third play from scrimmage of the Niners meeting with the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2, causing him to have a surgical procedure the following week and miss six weeks of the season thus far. He also injured his shoulder a bit during the Redskins game, though it isn't as serious as his knee.
Braylon has been visibly limited on the field since his return, though he knows the team will need him down the stretch, especially in the postseason.
Q: With five games left in the regular season and then the playoffs, what's the goal? To get to that spot where you can be a contributor in January?
EDWARDS: My plan is more the playoffs. We can pretty much wrap those up with a win this week. So I think the big thing for me is to get back healthy. We've got five games left like you said, plus the playoffs. So the ideal goal for me is to just get back healthy for the playoffs. That would be key.
Braylon's answer would lead me to believe that he will likely take some time off after the Niners clinch to get ready for the postseason, though he answered that question in true Harbaugh fashion:
Q: Would it be necessary to take more time off, miss a game, just so you could be ready for January?
EDWARDS: We'll see what the doctors say. We'll put that plan in the hands of the doctor and the trainers and coach Harbaugh and see what they think. Maybe it's necessary. Maybe that's what needs to happen.
No. 17 also spoke about dealing with significant injury for essentially the first time in his professional career:
Q: How frustrating has this been? I'm sure this isn't the kind of production you expected from yourself.
EDWARDS: It's not about production, I've been hurt. I had knee surgery, now I have a bad shoulder. So it's not about production, I've been hurt. I haven't ever had a season where I've been hurt, with the exception of my rookie year. This is all new to me, it's very frustrating, but I ask the team to bear with me. I can't really control being hurt - it's part of the game.
Q: Do you think you'll be able to get out on the practice field a little bit more in the next few weeks?
EDWARDS: We'll see. I hope so. That's always the plan. You can't rush things.
No need to rush as time is definitely on the 49ers side for Edwards to be ready for the playoffs, and he's no good to them sitting on the sideline.
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