FLORHAM PARK: There was no bone-jarring hit on the field, nothing that indicated Chris Owusu had suffered the same injury he had too many times before.
There wasn't any stoppage of play, no huddling of trainers. The Jets wideout finished Sunday's loss to the Patriots, then traveled home with the rest of his team. But once Owusu got back to New Jersey, he realized something wasn't right. Further tests revealed that the receiver had suffered a concussion against New England.
The concussion is the second Owusu has suffered in as many months, and the fifth of his career.
"Looking at the film, I didn't see where it happened," Jets coach Todd Bowles said Wednesday. "When you have a history with those things, it could come at any time."
Owusu, 25, has been one of the bigger surprises for the Jets in his second year with the team. While Owusu suited up for three games and caught four passes for 58 yards and scored once on a 23-yard touchdown run a year ago, it wasn't until this offseason that he truly seemed to shine. In new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey's offense, Owusu received first-team reps outside Brandon Marshall with Eric Decker in the slot during OTAs, minicamp and training camp. He performed well, very well, and was viewed as one of training camp's best performers.
That was until a concussion sidelined him for nearly a month.
Knowing Owusu's past with head injuries, the Jets took a conservative approach until it was clear Owusu had passed all the needed tests to return to the field. Once he did, he played well again. He was initially cut during the 53-man roster trim, but re-signed the next day after New York placed Dee Milliner on the short-term injured reserve.
When Owusu returned to the field, he was back with the starters and even took over as the Jets starting kick returner. In the Jets season-opening victory over the Cleveland Browns, Owusu caught four passes for 55 yards. In the Jets second game, the wideout injured his knee, had surgery, and missed the ensuing four weeks. He returned this Sunday against the Patriots and caught two passes for 25 yards.
Bowles wouldn't talk much in terms of Owusu's future, saying just that the team was "monitoring" his health, but he did add that the injury was "very concerning." When it was Marshall's turn to speak to the media, he seemed to echo that same sentiment.
"We gotta let that play out," Marshall said. "As far as he, the person, you definitely don't want to see someone hurt. But as far as injuries and things like that, coach will deal with that."
On Wednesday, Owusu didn't participate in practice. He was not seen in the Jets' locker room during the portion of the day open to the media.