Concussions are ravaging the NFL's best, but even after being diagnosed with his first one ever against the Oakland Raiders, Antonio Cromartie played and delivered against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Jets' veteran cornerback has been hampered by nagging injuries throughout the season, from an injury to his hip all the way to his groin but his ability to push through this injury was incredibly impressive.
Cromartie was designated as ‘questionable' and seemed destined to be a game-time decision against the Panthers. Most signs pointed to Cromartie getting the game off but when game time rolled around Cromartie was on the field, locked up with the No. 1 receiver on the Panthers, Steve Smith.
The minuscule stat line posted by wide receiver Steve Smith marked exactly how excellent Cromartie's coverage was on the afternoon. The feisty wide receiver was held to his lowest yardage total of the season (20) along with a mere three catches. He was targeted the second most on the team but still failed to register any type of production, a true testament to the performance of Cromartie.
It would all be for naught as the Panthers were able to slice through the Jets' secondary to the tune of 273 yards. That helped propel Carolina to a 30-20 victory, essentially stripping the Jets of their playoff aspirations.
The individual victory for Cromartie helps give him confidence down the stretch, as it was his second productive game in a row in a season that has been filled with disappointment. The Jets will face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, which is an opportunity for Cromartie to shut down a premier wide receiver in Josh Gordon.