Trey Edmunds is the oldest son of Ferrell Edmunds, a former Pro Bowl tight end. He was the first of the three brothers to make it into the NFL, and he’s had the hardest road, at the running back position. Coming in as an undrafted free agent, signed by the New Orleans Saints, he carved out a role on special teams, but amounted to just nine carries on the season.
After he failed to make the 53-man roster in his second season, the Pittsburgh Steelers—who had just drafted the middle brother, safety Terrell Edmunds, in the first round last year—signed him to their practice squad.
He spent most of the season there, but was called up to the 53-man roster for the final four games after James Conner was injured. It was the same story this year, called up once Jaylen Samuels suffered an injury that saw him miss three weeks.
When the team had Conner and Benny Snell, however, he wasn’t even considered as an offensive option until both of them got injured, leaving him as the only halfback on the roster against the Miami Dolphins. That resulted in his first carry since his rookie season in New Orleans.
And then, this past Sunday, he got more extended work, 12 carries, on which he totaled 73 yards. It was the most work he had ever gotten in his three-year career, and he kicked it off with a 45-yard run, the longest rush by a Steelers running back in a couple years. Understandably, he had some feelings about it all.
“It’s games man. You experience a lot of emotions, excitement, frustration, joy”, he told Jacob Klinger. “You experience everything. So it’s just about staying level-headed the best way you can. I try to do that day in and day out no matter what the situation is.”
While he has had a tough path to tread, his two younger brothers were both first-round draft picks and plug-and-play starters on the defensive side of the ball. He has had the good fortune to be in the same locker room with Terrell, even living with him, while Tremaine Edmunds is in a starring role for the Buffalo Bills, off to their best start in years.
What his role is on Sunday will be determined by who is available for the game. Mike Tomlin sounded optimistic about the possibility of Conner being able to come back after missing the game against the Indianapolis Colts, but Snell is obviously going to miss more time.
Should Conner return, and the Steelers have Samuels available to them, it’s unlikely Edmunds will receive any work on offense barring an emergency situation. Which means it will be back to his specialty, which is special teams. He helped force a fumble on a safety kick on Sunday.