Jets CBs Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed clear concussion protocol

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Saturday, October 28, 2023

The New York Jets' secondary is whole again, as cornerbacks Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed cleared the concussion protocol Friday and will return to the lineup Sunday against the New York Giants.

The Jets played without both starters in their last game yet managed to stun the heavily favored Philadelphia Eagles20-14. Reed missed two games with his concussion, which occurred in Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Coming off the bye week, both players returned to full practice Wednesday, so the Jets (3-3) were optimistic about having them to face the Giants (2-5) at MetLife Stadium.

"It does allow flexibility on the defense and allows you to be -- not more creative, but allows you to do a couple of things that you normally wouldn't without those two guys," coach Robert Saleh said before practice Friday.

Reed said Friday that he suffered the concussion early in the Kansas City game in Week 4, but didn't report it and completed the game.

"It didn't feel right, but just the selfish part of me just wanted to play 'Sunday Night Football,'" Reed said, according to the Associated Press.

"Going back and looking at it, any time you get a concussion, you've got to pull yourself out," said Reed, adding that his symptoms worsened after the game. "Talking to the doctors, that could have been bad. Something terrible could have possibly happened, so definitely a lesson learned."

Looking for their third straight win, the Jets will face a Giants offense without quarterback Daniel Jones, who is out for the third straight week due to a neck injury. Tyrod Taylor will start again for the Giants.

The Jets used a patchwork lineup against the Eagles, employing seldom-used Bryce Hall and promoting cornerbacksCraig James and Tae Hayesfrom the practice squad. Nickelback Michael Carter II went out late in the game with a hamstring injury, yet the Jets still managed to intercept Jalen Hurts three times.

"[The fill-ins] just did an exceptional job out there," defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. "I'm looking out there and they're covering A.J. Brown, they're covering [DeVonta] Smith, they're covering real receivers in this league and with a real quarterback that can make you pay. I'm so proud of those guys that stepped up for our defense."

Carter has been limited this week in practice, but he is expected to play Sunday.

In other injury news, rookie right guard Joe Tippmann (quadriceps) was ruled out. He will be replaced by veteran Wes Schweitzer, the third different player to start at right guard.

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