Riders’ Canadian DB Mike Edem ‘doing fine’ after being taken to hospital for precautionary reasons

The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ pending elimination from the CFL playoff picture didn’t seem like such a big deal when a scary scene gripped Mosaic Stadium early in the fourth quarter on Saturday night.

With the Riders trailing the Stampeders 25-14 and trying to keep their season alive, free safety Mike Edem was bulldozed by Calgary running back Dedrick Mills in a violent collision that left Edem motionless on the turf.

A nine-minute delay ensued as fans in the stands and viewers on TSN watched with concern as Edem was carefully lifted onto a cart with his neck stabilized in a brace.

Head coach Craig Dickenson told the media after the game that the updates he had on Edem’s condition were encouraging.

“What we’ve been told is he was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons,” Dickenson said. “He’s doing fine. All signs point to being OK, so we’ll keep giving our thoughts but that was a tough one to see out there.”

“I thought it was deflating for both teams really. You saw everybody was out there. Football is a violent game, a very physical game, and there’s moments like that when it gets a little scary. But I thought our guys rallied back and played hard again. That was a deflating moment for all of us. Nobody wants to see that and we’ll try to give you an update when we know more but it sounds like he’s going to be alright.”

Both teams left their benches and gathered on the field near the injury scene to show their concern for Edem, waiting for him to be loaded onto the cart as silence fell over the stadium.

“That was scary to watch and very emotional,” added Riders’ receiver Shaq Evans.

“Definitely shed a tear because obviously he’s been here since I’ve been here and to see him go down like that is tough.”

The 33-year-old Edem faced a significant size disadvantage against the 25-year-old Mills in the head-on collision.

The five-foot-10 and thick 220-pound body of Mills crashed into him head first at high speed, causing the six-foot-one, 196-pound Edem to immediately collapse.

Edem is in his ninth CFL season and fifth with the Roughriders. He has started all 17 games at safety, recording 57 tackles, two sacks and one interception.

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.