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Peake Takes Hit, Keeps Delivering

Rookie Receiver Had a Career-High 5 Receptions vs. the Cardinals


It was a hit that can keep you up at night.

Lined up in the middle of three receivers to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's right, rookie Charone  Peake got a free release from the line, worked through a bump from Cardinals DB Tyrann Mathieu and cut across the field.  Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick stepped up in the pocket and threw a short ball to Peake and the Jets' target thought he had room to run. But a missile in red named D.J. Swearinger came flying though and separated Peake from the ball with a vicious shot.

Peake got up, gingerly walked off the field and began spitting blood.

"It was fine, he just hit me in my chest and it knocked the wind out of me," Peake said this week on Inside the Jets. "The blood came from when I bit my tongue and my lip, but I was fine. They took me in because they wanted to X-ray my chest for precaution, but everything was good. I'm feeling fine now."

Peake, who was targeted 10 times in the Jets' 28-3 loss to the Cardinals Monday night, finished with a career-high five receptions including one on the team's final possession. The 6'3", 209-pound Peake, a seventh-round pick out of Clemson and one of club's three rookie wideouts, has nine receptions and he also had a 42-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown against the Seahawks in Week 4.

"I'm becoming a lot more confident in myself and hopefully that's transferring to the coaches and the quarterback being confident in me," he said. "That's what I've been working on and they're giving me a chance to go out and make plays with Eric (Decker) down and Jalin (Marshall) hurt the past two weeks. I'm just trying to take advantage of the opportunity."

This will be a critical week of practice for Peake as he gets reps with new starter Geno Smith.  Peake played both in the slot and outside the numbers at Clemson and the Jets have moved him about some as well in his first pro campaign.

"Being outside, you're going to get pressed a lot more," he said. "But being inside, it's a lot of traffic. There's a lot of people you have to weave through, a lot of bigger guys. Being on the outside, those guys are mostly your size."

Speaking of playing outside, Peake also contributed against the Cards with an excellent special teams effort in the first quarter. Peake came close to beating Lachlan Edwards' 49-yard punt down the field, went flying by return man John Brown and then raced back from behind for a tackle.

"It felt great to be out there. It was my second time being on Monday Night Football, the last time I was out there being the national championship," he said. "So it was weird being out there again, but it was a great experience. It's what you dream of growing up."

After a 1-5 start, the Jets need a few of their young players to grow up in a hurry. Peake may have been bruised and bloodied against the Cardinals, but the developing rookie is ready for the next round.

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