Most guys would have collapsed to the ground because of the shooting pain of a strained groin muscle. Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery didn't fall to the turf or into that category of players in the Jets' miracle overtime victory against the Cleveland Browns.
In the locker room on the Jets' "Celebration Monday," Cotchery told newyorkjets.comthat the MRI results came back and that he has a strained groin. Most strains typically involve some sort of tearing in the muscle, and when it's bad, the doctors can give an immediate timetable for how long a player will be sidelined. In Cotchery's case, however, team doctors didn't give a timetable, which may mean the injury is less severe than initially anticipated.
"I'm doing a lot better than I was last night," Cotchery said. "I think the trainers did a great job of jumping on the groin last night and getting the treatment this morning. I'm feeling pretty optimistic about it right now."
In the overtime period, Cotchery pulled up as he came out of his break, clearly in pain and hampered by his injury. Instead of shutting it down on the play, the seventh-year veteran hobbled away from his defender to make an impeccable diving grab, good for 10 yards on third-and-9, that made ESPN's Top 10 Plays.
After the game, head coach Rex Ryan called it one of the gutsiest plays he's ever seen, and today Cotchery said he appreciated his coach's statement.
"I think every guy in this locker room is going to do what it takes to go out there and help us collect that W on Sunday. That's what it's all about," he said. "When you see all of your teammates laying it on the line, it makes you take your game to another level as well and make you lay it on the line as well."
Attached to the injured region this morning was a stim machine, which helps Cotchery's tissue and muscle in the affected area heal more rapidly. The look in J-Co's eyes when he addressed the media was one of a man who was in some pain, but also fully intent on returning to the field as quickly as possible.
In a way, his willingness to see the play out until the very end was a microcosm of the Jets' will to win at Cleveland. Mark Sanchez, battling a leg injury, didn't hit Santonio Holmes for the game-winning touchdown until there were a mere 16 seconds left in overtime. Even when the situation seems most desperate and the game feels over, the Green & White won't quit.
"We've had games where we've separated from the team, blowout wins," Cotchery said. "But we've had these dogfights and it says a lot about your team and it builds your character throughout the year. The close games are going to come up at the end of the year and we've pulled out a couple of victories. It's going to pay off for us in the long run."