Talk about good first impressions. A.J. Edds, trying to revive an NFL career twice struck down by injuries, made a bold case for himself for a roster spot with the New York Jets following Thursday night’s preseason-opener against the visiting Indianapolis Colts.
A 6-foot-4, 256-pound linebacker, Edds — wearing No. 47 — tallied a team-high seven tackles and was instrumental in sealing the Jets’ 13-10 win.
Moments after Andrew Furney’s 51-yard field goal broke a 10-all tie with 1:08 to play, Ikemefuna Enempkali registered a strip sack of Colts’ quarterback Chandler Harnish. Edds recovered the fumble, allowing the Jets to run out the clock and secure the victory.
Equally impressive, Edds played through the pain of a broken finger suffered at some point during the game. He returned to action and wound up participating in 63 percent of New York’s defensive snaps, including occasional reps with starters.
Although the strong preseason debut guarantees nothing, it certainly didn’t damage Edds’ chances of returning to the league after a two-year absence.
A fourth-round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins in 2010, the former Greenwood Community High School and Iowa star missed his entire rookie season after suffering a left ACL tear during training. He returned the following year and, after brief stints with Miami and New England, landed in Indianapolis and played nine games with the Colts, mostly on special teams.
He hasn’t played in a regular-season game since.
In 2012, Edds tore his right ACL during the first day of Colts training camp, missed the entire season and was not re-signed.
Re-acquired by New England during the offseason, he was waived during training camp and did not play in 2013.
Determined to give the NFL one more shot, Edds, 26, continued networking himself and was invited to the Jets’ rookie minicamp for tryout in May. He stood out at the tryout and was singed to a free-agent contract.
Edds’ next chance to strengthen his bid for a full-time roster spot is Aug. 16 when the Jets travel to Cincinnati.