GREEN BAY, Wis. – Chase Edmonds’ mom and sister traveled all the way to Lambeau Field on Sunday -- to watch Aaron Rodgers.
They ended up seeing quite the show, but the Cardinals’ rookie running back was the star.
Edmonds had the best game of his young NFL career, carrying the ball five times for 53 yards and a pair of touchdowns, upstaging even Green Bay’s prodigious signal-caller.
“They wanted to see A-Rod live,” Edmonds said in mock disdain. “Don’t even get me on that. Come watch your son. Golly. But it was a great moment.”
While Rodgers has a career full of memorable games, the Cardinals and Edmonds hope this is the first of many to come. They have long felt like the small-school record-breaker was a gem of a find in the fourth round of the draft.
“I’ve been bragging about Chase all year, going back to training camp,” coach Steve Wilks said. “The guy is phenomenal. I think he is a dynamic pro, even at a young age.”
Even with star running back David Johnson available, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich gave Edmonds crucial carries around the goal-line and he delivered. Edmonds actually scored three touchdowns in the game but the first was reversed on replay review because he was down at the 1.
“I thought I had the first one, but they called it back,” Edmonds said. “I was like, ‘Aw, man, don’t do this to me. Please don’t do this to me.’”
Edmonds got another chance after a false start and punched in the score from six yards out. He followed that up with a crucial 29-yard run in the third quarter and an 8-yard touchdown run that he bounced to the outside and into the end zone.
On several of his runs – and a reception in which Edmonds slipped to the ground but popped back up before being touched – his impressive body control was on display.
“We saw that throughout the draft process,” Wilks said. “He does run with great balance, a lower center of gravity. And for a guy that size, he’s pretty powerful.”
Despite averaging more than 10 yards per carry and scoring twice, Edmonds understands his spot on the depth chart isn’t changing. Johnson is the team’s unquestioned star and will continue to get the lion’s share of the work.
“You’ve just got to be patient, man,” Edmonds said. “Dave’s the mailman. I understand the spot that I’m in.”
Even so, postal workers don’t mind help and Edmonds proved capable of carrying the load when called upon. Leftwich came to him on Saturday and encouraged Edmonds to think of himself as a playmaker rather than just a substitute.
“At Fordham, I was always going for that big play and I didn’t care what the results were,” Edmonds said. “I felt like that’s where I had to put my mindset. Instead of, ‘Don’t play to not make a mistake.’ Go out there and be that guy that makes the play.”
While Edmonds playfully admonished his family for their Rodgers love, after the game, he was the one reveling in some Packers history.
“The cool thing about Fordham is (Vince) Lombardi went there, and here we are at Lambeau Field,” Edmonds said. “It’s a cool experience for me. It’s coming together full circle.”