That way, when the team needed him most – say, in the fourth quarter and overtime of the biggest game of the season – Edmonds would be ready.
And he was.
The Cardinals lost Drake to an ankle injury late in Sunday's 37-34 overtime win, but Edmonds stepped in and made huge play after huge play. He finished the contest with seven catches for 87 yards along with five carries for 58 yards.
Edmonds had a 12-yard run with 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter to set up Zane Gonzalez's game-tying field goal, then ripped off 32- and 9-yard runs in overtime.
"It's a testament to my hard work," Edmonds said. "I busted my ass this offseason, truly. From before COVID even started, I kept working every single day. Me, (Christian) Kirk and Trent (Sherfield) were working behind closed doors. You work like that for opportunities like this."
There was no immediate update on Drake, who was injured after picking up a fourth-and-1 late in the fourth quarter. He limped off the field with the help of trainers and then was carted to the locker room.
Edmonds was a sparkplug as the No. 2 option at running back and now could be a focal point of the offense if Drake misses time. Edmonds is averaging 6.1 yards per carry this season after Sunday's impressive showing, and is a run-after-catch weapon in the passing game.
"I'll be ready to answer the bell, whatever my role is," Edmonds said.
BAKER NABS SECOND PICK, JUST MISSES SIX
Budda Baker saved seven points in the second quarter on Sunday when he intercepted Russell Wilson at the goal-line. He and was poised to get six of his own, until DK Metcalf somehow ran him down at the Seattle 6-yard-line after a more-than-100-yard chase.
Baker's play was huge but it was lost in the fervor of Metcalf, who is listed at 6-4 and 229 pounds, making such an incredible play.
"I did (think Baker would score) until that huge stallion of a human came galloping out of nowhere," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "… DK Metcalf is an absolute freak athlete, and what an effort play by him. High school coaching will be showing that one for years."
Baker thought he was in the clear after he got past Wilson.
"I just saw Russell," Baker said. "I was running, and next thing you know, I see big 14 coming after me. He got me. That's the first time I've ever been hawked in my entire life. I'm going to be working on my speed."
The Cardinals turned the ball over on downs so they didn't capitalize on the turnover, but Baker did save the touchdown on the other end. He said he was not actually supposed to be in the area but made an instinctive decision.
"I took a shot," Baker said. "I saw the ball in the air and caught it."
Baker now has two interceptions in the past two games after failing to get one in his first three seasons in the NFL. The Pro Bowler also had a team-high 14 tackles and a near-sack that ended a Seattle drive.
ISAIAH IRVING CARTED OFF
New outside linebacker Isaiah Irving had a scary moment as he injured his neck on a kickoff. Irving was stabilized and carted off the field. The severity of the injury is unknown, although NBC reported he had feeling in his extremities.
Defensive linemen Zach Allen (ankle) and Jordan Phillips (hamstring) left the game and did not return. Inside linebacker Jordan Hicks was not playing down the stretch either.