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Former Rutgers running back is part of elite NFL company



Sep 24, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards (35) rushes the football against the Indianapolis Colts in the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

Running back Gus Edwards only played one season for Rutgers, but he made a big impact in 2017. He won the Homer Hazel Award in being named Team MVP. Edwards led Rutgers with 713 rushing yards, 816 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns. Even so, it was hard to foresee the former Miami transfer who went undrafted making history in the NFL. However, the Staten Island native has done just that throughout his pro career.

After signing with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2018, Edwards has been the model of consistency. In his first three seasons, Edwards ran between 711 to 723 yards and averaged 5.0 or more yards per carry. He also caught a career high 9 receptions in 2020 for 129 yards and 14.3 yards per catch. In 2021, Edwards missed the entire season due to a torn ACL. With running backs, career expectancy is short and there was some concern whether he would be able to bounce back.

While Edwards didn’t return until midway through  the 2022 season, he silenced doubters by rushing for 433 yards in 9 games, again rushing for 5.0 yards per carry. Which leads us to this past Sunday when Edwards was acknowledged for a historic feat in his career.

Edwards is just the fourth running back since 1970 to average more than 5.0 yards per carry with a minimum of 500 carries. The elite club is pictured below. It includes the great Bo Jackson and the NFL record holder for yards per carry (1000 attempts) in Jamaal Charles.

It’s quite an accomplishment for a running back who was undrafted and never been used as a true No. 1 on his own team. Even so, Edwards has continued to chop his way to very respectable career. In three games this season, he’s rushed for 145 yards on 5.0 yards per carry. It’s a mark he’s never fallen below in every season he’s played, which is equally impressive. He hasn’t ever had an unproductive season in the NFL. Edwards has also totaled 14 touchdowns in his career, including one this season. It extended a 28 year streak of a former Rutgers player scoring a touchdown in the NFL.

Edwards entered concussion protocol in the middle of Sunday’s game. Expect Edwards to bounce back once again whenever he is cleared to play. He isn’t the flashiest back or the fastest, but he is one of the most consistent and resilient in NFL history.

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