Coach: Edwards hopes to return
Freshman wide receiver Patrick Edwards’ return to Houston after the Cougars played Marshall came a little later than expected, but friends and family waiting for his arrival on Friday couldn’t have been happier to see him.
"Patrick (Edwards) got back Friday morning. He came to the complex and had his family here," head coach Kevin Sumlin said. "He was in class (Monday) and he was smiling."
Edwards spent several days recovering from surgery in Huntington, W.V. after the Cougars’ 37-23 loss to the Thundering Herd. Edwards suffered a compound fracture in his right leg after running full-force into metal carts used by Marshall’s band while trying to catch a pass in the endzone in the third quarter.
Doctors in West Virginia operated on Edwards, placing a metal rod in his leg, late Tuesday night. UH team medical personnel discussed his recovery with family members after Edwards arrived in Houston.
"(His family) met with our doctors and talked about his rehab program and how he is going to heal up and what the time frame for all that is," Sumlin said. "It’s really a ‘wait and see’ time frame right now."
Edwards leads the Cougars in receiving yards with 634 on 46 catches and four touchdowns in eight games. His 79.2 average for receiving yards per game is also a team-high.
Although Edwards’ leg healed well enough to allow him to make the trip home, Sumlin and his staff are still taking precautions with his recuperation.
"The concern now is infection, because he has a one-inch gash on the top of (the injury.) We aren’t going to rush it. He obviously wants to play again, and we’ll see how that goes," Sumlin said.
Edwards is the latest addition to a string of injuries that have plagued the Cougars this year. Junior offensive lineman Josh Bell left the game against Marshall with a ruptured Achilles and will miss the rest of the season. Sumlin said both redshirt offensive lineman Chris Thompson (appendectomy) and junior linebacker Matt Nicholson are doubtful for Saturday’s game against Tulane, as is redshirt freshman receiver Tyron Carrier, who suffered a concussion in the game against Marshall.
"Just like everyone else, we are a little banged up, but this break has also given us some time to get some other guys ready and practice," Sumlin said.
Sumlin said he is optimistic about Edwards’ return to the field in the future.
"He’s a courageous guy and a strong guy. He has said nothing to me other than his intent and want to play again," Sumlin said. "Based on how he has approached things and done things as long as I have known him, I would be shocked if that didn’t happen."