After his ninth concussion yesterday, Jets WR Wayne Chrebet has likely played his last game in the NFL. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Facing 3rd-and-5 from the Chargers 15-yard line yesterday, QB Brooks Bollinger found WR Wayne Chrebet for a six-yard catch and a first down. On the play, Chrebet slammed his head viciously to the turf, suffering at least his ninth concussion dating back to his college career at Hofstra.
“He made a great catch, head hit the ground,” head coach Herman Edwards said. “Held onto the ball. That’s Wayne Chrebet. Fearless guy. Always been that way. Not afraid to lay his body out to catch that football.”
That might be the last image Jets fans have of Chrebet in a Jets uniform after Chrebet was placed on injured reserve today. Chrebet was unavailable for comment as he was seeing doctors this afternoon.
Also being placed on injured reserve is TE Chris Baker who will have surgery on his left fibula after breaking it in yesterday’s game.
Chrebet now has the decision to make of whether to try to come back next year or retire. This is not the first time Chrebet has had to make a tough decision as after missing the majority of the 2003 season with post-concussion syndrome, Chrebet decided to come back for the 2004 campaign.
Before the season, Chrebet talked about how excited he was for the new offense under offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger. But this season, Chrebet only caught 15 passes for 153 yards including three for 39 yards yesterday.
Ten years ago, the Jets took a chance on Chrebet as an undrafted free agent out of Hofstra. During his four-year college career, Chrebet caught 150 passes for 2,297 yards and 31 touchdowns. Chrebet set school records for TD in a game (five), season (16), and career (31) and the single-game yardage (245).
Chrebet worked hard in training camp and through injuries to other wide receivers worked his way up the depth chart and made the team.
He consistently made up for his small stature by making big plays when called upon and earned the nickname “Mr. Clutch” for his ability.
Chrebet ranks second on the all-time receptions list with 580 behind Don Maynard and third on the all-time receiving list with 7,365 yards.
“I think he knows where he’s at,” Edwards said. “His families going to be a big influence on him. Wayne will make the right decision, not about him anymore, about his wife, his family and his children and he understands, very important to understand.”
“Sometimes you come to the realization that it’s time and had a great career…life goes on,” Chrebet’s close friend and teammate QB Vinny Testaverde said.
Late last year, Chrebet was asked to reflect on his time as a Jet, “I wouldn’t want to be any other place these last 10 years,” Chrebet said at the time.
-BOLLINGER STARTING AGAINST PANTHERS: The other big news to come out of Hempstead today was that QB Brooks Bollinger will start against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Bollinger replaced Vinny Testaverde yesterday and led the Jets to two touchdown drives and almost won the game but the fourth-down pass intended for WR Justin McCareins fell incomplete and the Jets lost 31-26. Bollinger has replaced Testaverde the last two games and on the season is 37-for-68 for 349 yards and two touchdowns. “I need to show guys I can function. Guys can’t believe me until I go do it,” Bollinger said.
Offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger spoke about Bollinger today. “We got to break an old habit that he’s too short in his drops. Been working on that. Under fire though he goes back to his old way. Trying to get him deeper…Not his release so much as it is depth of drops,” Heimerdinger said.
-DEFENSE STRUGGLES: The defense did not look sharp yesterday and today, defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson spoke today after a hour and 45 minute meeting with his defense. Instead of watching film, the players spoke with Henderson. “They want me to be the same aggressive guy I was when I first came here,” Henderson said.
-If Testaverde cannot dress Sunday, then third string QB Kliff Kingsbury will backup Bollinger.
-ROSTER MOVES: The team will elevate rookie WR Dante Ridgeway from the practice squad to take Chrebet's roster spot and will sign to the practice squad WR Craig Bragg to take Ridgeway's spot. Bragg (6'1"), from UCLA, was a sixth round pick of the Packers this April who was waived during the Packer's final training camp cuts. The Jets considered signing Bragg last week after a tryout. Ridgeway who was a sixth round pick of the Rams this year from Ball State University was on the Jets active roster for two games to start the season after being claimed off waivers from the Rams. He was then waived and placed on the practice squad during week 3 of the season.
As reported after last night's game, the Jets suffered another big blow on offense when starting TE Chris Baker broke his ankle. He's done for the season and was placed on injured reserve today with Chrebet.
-TE Chris Baker (ankle): Out-IR
-WR Wayne Chrebet (concussion): Out-IR
-LB Kenyatta Wright (right ankle): Questionable
-QB Vinny Testaverde (lower achilles/calf): Questionable
-G Brandon Moore (right strained pectoral): Probable
-C Pete Kendall (kidney contusion): Probable
-LB Victor Hobson (groin): Probable
-WR Laveranues Coles (rib): Probable
The Jets have tomorrow off before returning to practice on Wednesday in preparation for the Carolina Panthers. Check back to Jets Insider.com for all the latest Jets news.