- Rich Cimini, ESPN New York Jets reporter
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MIAMI --Braylon Edwards capped a tumultuous week with an eventful night. He served a one-quarter benching, scored a touchdown the first time he touched the ball and performed a celebration dance without drawing a taunting penalty.
From courthouse to penthouse.
Five days after his highly publicized drunken-driving arrest, the embattled wide receiver played a key role in the New York Jets' 31-23 victory over the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Afterward, Edwards confirmed a TV report that he called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday in a proactive attempt to express remorse.
"I felt the need to reach out to him, maybe jump the gun," Edwards said. "I wanted to tell him I'm remorseful and not a misrepresentation for what this league is all about."
Edwards, who faces a $50,000 fine and a possible suspension if he's convicted of drunken driving, said he never spoke to Goodell. But Edwards expects to chat with him in the near future.
Edwards also confirmed an ESPN report that said he was on antibiotics at the time of his arrest, fueling speculation that it may have had an impact on his 0.16 blood-alcohol level. Edwards said he's taking antibiotics for an ankle injury, but he declined to elaborate on the potential impact on his case.
About 90 minutes before kickoff, the Jets announced that Edwards would sit the entire first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, he was back in the game. Unofficially, he ended up playing in 34 of the team's 57 offensive plays.
"We said we'd do what was in the best interest of our football team," Rex Ryan said. "We made the decision for our organization."
In a pregame statement, GM Mike Tannenbaum said: "We've made our disappointment clear to Braylon. Now he must deal with the consequences of his actions as the legal process runs its course, and the league will determine the appropriate discipline under the guidelines of the collective bargaining agreement."
The Jets never hid their intention to play Edwards, who was arrested Tuesday morning, but they were unusually cryptic throughout the week with regard to the specifics. Even the always candid Ryan dodged questions.
Edwards didn't get a ball thrown to him until the third quarter. He turned a routine "out" route into a 67-yard touchdown, as cornerback Jason Allen slipped. It gave the Jets a 21-17 lead. When he got to the end zone, Edwards found some open area and performed a celebration dance. A week ago, he was flagged for taunting after a touchdown.
"I was truly excited to get in the end zone," he said. "It was a long week, very emotional for me and my family. That was the emotion coming out, but I made sure no one was around me when I did it."
In the meantime, the Jets came under fire for not taking a harsher stance with Edwards, whose blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit. Nine hours before kickoff, GM Mike Tannenbaum added a wrinkle to the controversy. Tannenbaum, a guest of Ian O'Connor on 1050 ESPN Radio, said Edwards wasn't going to start because of when he was arrested.
"We felt he didn't deserve to start based on the fact that ... not for the arrest as much as going out and being out until 5 in the morning," Tannenbaum said.
Tannenbaum, through a team spokesman, later tried to clarify his remarks, claiming a number of factors contributed to the decision, not just the time of the arrest. The spokesman declined to elaborate on those factors.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.
New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards was held out of the first quarter of the team's game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night, five days after being charged with drunken driving in Manhattan.