Jets Podcast


Jalen Saunders Gets to 'Shed the Red'

Posted Aug 25, 2014

Jets' Rookie WR/PR Receives Full Medical Clearance to Practice, Play at Philly

The Jets received good news today about rookie WR Jalen Saunders, who was cleared to practice fully for the first time since his one-car accident before the Cincinnati game.

Head coach Rex Ryan announced that a seizure was the “medical event” that caused Saunders’ accident while driving to the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park on Aug. 15.

“He’s been cleared for full [activity], and he looked good today,” Ryan said. “I think everybody is excited to see him.”

The rookie said he feels 100 percent since receiving a number of tests after the seizure, adding that despite this experience, he will not change his approach to playing the game.

“Never. That’s why they drafted me,” he said on being more cautious. “I’m out here proving my point to them that I’m the player that they should be able to trust.”

Saunders said that there’s no history of seizures in his family, and he is ready to get back to action.

Good news for Jalen: Ryan said he’s sure that Saunders will see an expanded role at Philadelphia on Thursday to make up for some of the time he’s missed while working with doctors and trainers.

“Expect to see a great deal of him in this game,” Ryan said, “as a receiver as well as a punt returner.”

Saunders is healthy, which should answer the major concern for Jets fans, but he is confident he’ll be back even more so now that he knows what caused the crash.

“I’m not concerned at all,” he said last week as he awaited test results. “I feel I have a bright future ahead of me.”

Ryan wasn’t the only one who was happy to see Saunders catching punts and making plays again.

“It was good to see him back out there," fellow WR Greg Salas said. "I’m happy he’s OK and everything is working out for him. It was good seeing him catch a few balls and make a few plays.”

The seizure had Saunders and his family concerned about his health and safety, and his football career was temporarily put on hold.

“I was scared myself, and my family, of course,” he said. “It’s something that’s very, very scary in my life, but other than that, I’m blessed to be here.”

He was cleared to participate in non-contact drills during practice on Sunday, but was able to take the red no-contact jersey off today. This week and the rest of the season appear to be business as usual for Jalen.

“I’m out here playing ball,” he said.


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