With WR Wayne Chrebet still feeling the after-effects of a concussion suffered against the Giants Nov. 2, the Jets placed the veteran on the injured reserve -- looking more toward next season than Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts at the RCA Dome.
"This will not be something that I will be concerned about for months, but it's been more than just a few days," said Dr. Elliot Pellman, chairman of the Jets' medical department and chairman of the NFL's subcommittee on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. "There was no concern on any of our parts that Wayne will have any long-term problems. It was to prevent him from heading into that dark hole where he's predisposed to post-concussion syndrome."
Pellman said that for him to return Chrebet to the field, Chrebet would need to be symptom free for two weeks, followed by two weeks of mild exercise and then two weeks of contact without any further incident. Since that would, at best, have Chrebet returning for the final game of the season December 28 at Miami, the Jets and Chrebet decided putting him on injured reserve was more prudent.
"All of us had one objective paramount to any other," Chrebet's agent Art Weiss said. "Barring something that is unforeseen. I have every confidence that he will be playing football next year."
People with multiple concussions face the danger of becoming more susceptible to concussions after less severe impacts and taking longer to recover each time.
"Is Wayne more susceptible now to these injuries, I do not know?" said Pellman, who added that magnetic resonance images (MRI) of Chrebet's head were normal, but wouldn't release the results of any other tests as per Chrebet's request. "But one of the things I believe is to try and prevent that susceptibility (by giving) the person a chance to recover. Wayne will be given plenty of time to recover and be ready for next season. I suspect that he will play next season.
We all agreed, given Wayne's past history that we would want to be careful."
Chrebet has had five confirmed concussions during his football career -- two while playing college football at Hofstra, a third during the 2000 preseason with the Jets, another during the 2001 season and the most recent against the Giants on Nov. 2.
Chrebet has also been diagnosed twice with post-traumatic migraines, most recently against Buffalo on Oct.12.
These incidents are in addition to the multitude of hits Chrebet -- who was not available to talk Wednesday -- has taken that he never complained about, therefore never diagnosed as anything more serious.
"Wayne has always been an ambitious man who wants to return to the playing field," said Pellman, who said he saw no reason not to let Chrebet back into the Giants game after diagnosing him with a concussion and still doesn't regret the decision. "Wayne is an aggressive player."
Too aggressive in retrospect according to Chrebet, who said back on Nov. 5 that "It (was) stupid trying to get back out there (in the Giants game), trying to convince them (I was) all right."
While the need for another receiver seems to pale in comparison to Chrebet's health, that exactly the direction the Jets must move in. Chrebet, a nine-year veteran, had 27 catches this season for 289 yards and a touchdown as the slot receiver and while they will work Jonathan Carter and Curtis Conway into the role, they will sign a street free agent and have him in practice as early as today.
"We do have a few guys coming in that we have worked out in the past," Jets general manager Terry Bradway said. "I'm not sure the guy coming in here is going to be able to play this week (In Indianapolis) or not but we will have somebody in here (today)."
SERIES HISTORY: 66th meeting. The Colts lead the regular-season series 38-25 but the Jets are 2-0 against them in the postseason. Those two games also happen to be the first and last meetings between these teams. Super Bowl III in 1969 and January's 41-0 blowout in the AFC Divisional playoff game.
NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES
--In his early days as backup quarterback for the Jets just a few years ago, Chad Pennington did one of the better imitations of Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning. He had to as the scout team quarterback during the 2001 season, when he would play Manning against the starting defense.
Only Pennington got almost too good, picking up all of Manning's little intricacies like keeping two hands on the ball while in the pocket, always moving his feet and his antics while checking off at the line.
`The defensive coaches were laughing because I studied him so much I almost looked like him out on the field," Pennington said.
--PK Doug Brien, whose 38-yard field goal in overtime last week gave the Jets a 27-24 win at Oakland, was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- Number of losses the Jets have in November since Herman Edwards took over as coach in 2001.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Nothing to do with this year. Last year's game. You know, it has nothing to do with what we need to do this year. I'm not going to talk about what we did. It's got nothing to do with it. We're a different team right now. They're a different team right now." -- Jets coach Herman Edwards on last season's 41-0 AFC Divisional playoff win against the Colts and what bearing it might have on Sunday's game.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The Jets are doing their best to improve a horrible run defense and may do some of the same things that made them more successful against the Raiders in the second half last Sunday. Facing straightaway runners, the Jets moved one tackle and DE Shaun Ellis inside over both opposing guards. They may do more of the same this week against the Colts' Edgerrin James. James, however, is just as capable of going outside, which makes the Jets susceptible because of their slow linebackers.
It isn't so much particular players that are causing the Jets problems in the run defense -- allowing a ridiculous 155 yards per game -- or even the coaching. It's that the style of play the Jets' defense used -- and the kind coach Herman Edwards brought with him from Tampa -- is base on speed, something the Jets don't have. They scrapped this against the Raiders in the second half and will continue to do so.
--CB Ray Mickens has been upgraded to probable this week with a strained neck. If he is unable to play -- and Mickens was already starting for the injured Donnie Abraham -- the Jets will start Ray Green or Jamie Henderson.
--CB Donnie Abraham (fractured right shoulder) has been upgraded to questionable for Sunday's game in Indianapolis and started practicing with the Jets Wednesday. He probably won't play and Ray Mickens has been starting in his place.
--DE John Abraham is out this week with a groin strain. Bryan Thomas will continue starting in his place.
--WR Wayne Chrebet was placed on the injured reserve (concussion) and will not play again this season. Kevin Swayne will remain the No. 3 receiver in his absence.
--FS Jon McGraw (dislocated right shoulder) has been upgraded to questionable and has resumed practicing, although he probably won't play. Tyrone Carter has been starting in his place.
--LB Mo Lewis (groin) is probable.
--LB Victor Hobson sat out practice Wednesday with a sore back but is expected to play Sunday.
--LB Sam Cowart sat out practice Wednesday with a sore knee but is expected to play Sunday.
--CB Ray Green may start for the Jets if Ray Mickens (strained neck) is unable to play. Jamie Henderson may also see additional playing time.
--CB Jamie Henderson may start or see additional playing time if Ray Mickens (strained neck) can't play.
--DE Bryan Thomas will continue starting for pro Bowler John Abraham (strained groin).
--WR Kevin Swayne, who doesn't have a catch this season, will be the No. 3 receiver while Wayne Chrebet sits out with a concussion. The Jets may sign a veteran free agent who could surpass Swayne, however.
--FS Tyrone Carter will start again if Jon McGraw (dislocated right shoulder) is unable to play.
GAME PLAN: The Jets better put more of a pass rush than they did last week against the Raiders -- when Rick Mirer went the entire game untouched. Otherwise Peyton Manning will shred them. On offense, the Jets will use a lot of play action fakes to take advantage of a Colts' secondary hit with injuries. They'll also use a healthy dose of both Curtis Martin and LaMont Jordan in the backfield, giving the Colts' defense two very distinctive backs to work against.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH: RB Curtis Martin has done well the past few weeks as the offensive line seems to have figured out what works best for them when run-blocking. They take that recent string of success against a Colts' DL that's smaller than normal.
--Colts QB Peyton Manning vs. Jets secondary. Still beaten up by injuries, the Jets' defensive backfield isn't close to full strength (although it's getting closer). The best news the Jets have is that WR Marvin Harrison probably isn't playing.
INJURY IMPACT: The Jets will remain hopeful throughout the week that they can get back either CB Donnie Abraham or FS Jon McGraw for Indianapolis but each is probably still a week away. McGraw, whose injury was less serious than Abraham's is closer to being able to play this week but it's probably a long-shot. It helps that Ray Mickens' strained neck is not as serious as it originally looked. Otherwise the Jets' secondary would be even more depleted and vulnerable. WR Wayne Chrebet's absence means more catches for Santana Moss.
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