FLORHAM PARK: For now, Sheldon Richardson is playing the waiting game, and there's nothing he can do to speed up the process.
Following his arrest in July for street racing, Richardson is stuck at practice, working with the second unit and knowing that whatever game total is added to the four-game ban he's already set to serve is in the hands of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
"I don't know what to expect. That's out of my hands right there. Whatever happens, happens," Richardson said. "I can go from four games, to however long (Goodell) wants to do me. It's pretty tough."
Throughout Jets training camp, Richardson has been thrown into an unfamiliar situation. Coming off arguably the best season of his short two-year career, Richardson has been receiving sporadic reps with the second unit. The Jets know they're going to be without him for the first four games of the season following a failed drug test, the fact that games will almost certainly be added means the team needs to prepare to be without him.
So Richardson has done his best to help New York even though he knows he won't be on the field to start the year. He's brought along rookie Leonard Williams, shared with others his keys to NFL success and has continued to go 100 miles per hour in practice to make sure those lining up in front of him improve, too.
Off the field, Richardson is working on himself. Heeding the advice of his coaches and teammates, Richardson has been seeing a counselor at the team's facility. It's been good for him, too, the former first-round pick said.
"I've been learning about myself," Richardson said. "I've been dealing with life's endeavors that have been difficult for me to deal with, talking with someone outside of my circle. Little things like that."
Richardson said he originally resented the idea of counseling, but was convinced to do so by his parents. Now that he's been in it, Richardson has embraced it with "full, open arms."
On August 31, Richardson's case will be heard in court. While he won't attend, saying he'll let his lawyers handle it, Richardson said he's not worried about any jail time. Despite the fact Richardson's actions that night --which included racing at speeds exceeding 125 miles per hour with a hand gun and 12-year-old child in the car-- seem damning, what he's actually been charged for is much less worse.
Police charged Richardson with resisting arrest and a several other traffic violations. He won't be behind bars, all Richardson is waiting on is knowing when he can return to the field.
"When I get the day I can actually return, then I can start moving forward," Richardson said. "Until then, it's a cloud over my head."
During Richardson's suspension, he will be permitted at the Jets facility. He can lift with the team and attend meetings, but he can not be on the field with his teammates.