Ryan Quigley was back in front of his locker this week as if he'd never left. In fact, he never did leave during the week last week. It was just that Saturday situation that blew up with his right shin.
"I didn't want to risk it," Quigley said of the sudden decisions beginning Saturday morning that led to Steve Weatherford being signed and Quigley being deactivated Sunday ahead of the New England game. "Live to fight another day."
The swelling in Quigley's shin could have gotten a lot worse had he tried to fight through it.
"I had two cuts on my shin from the blocked punt," he said about the late end zone special teams play against Washington. "The trainers treated it and everything seemed fine. But they say just a little bit of bacteria can get in and it blows up.
"It wasn't MRSA, it was just an infection. But it could possibly have gotten a lot worse." In fact, he said, the swelling didn't start to subside until the day of the game.
Weatherford had come in on short notice to catch the team flight to Boston. He said after the game he wished he could've done better for the Jets. His four punts averaged 40.3 yards gross and 30.8 net and his hang time was a low 4.12 seconds.
His third punt, late in the second quarter, was his best, a 50-yarder launched from near the Jets goal line that hung for 4.62 seconds and netted 40 yards. His last kick was a tough one, a 33-yarder (3.60 hang) with an 11-yard return by Danny Amendola to the Patriots 32 that started their final touchdown drive.
On the other hand, Weatherford, who had worked with kicker Nick Folk and snapper Tanner Purdum for the Jets' 2010 season before moving on to the Giants, handled five placement snaps from Purdum flawlessly. That included the final hold, from which Folk drilled his 55-yard field goal to give the Jets a small window to try to tie the game before they fell, 30-23.
Afterwards in the Gillette Stadium visitors' locker room, Folk and Weatherford did some reminiscing.
"What was your career long?" Weatherford asked.
"Fifty-six yards ... heck, you were there for it," Folk said. That kick came out of Weatherford's hold in the thin air of Denver back in the '10 season, setting the Jets' franchise record and Folk's personal long, both of which still stand.
On Monday, Bowles assessed Weatherford's pinch-hitting performance: "I mean, he did OK. Obviously, he's going to be a little rusty because he probably hadn't punted in a while. I know working out is one thing, but going out there every day and just practicing your craft is another. But under the circumstances, I thought he did OK."
But there was no long-term triumphant return for Weatherford. He was released Wednesday after Quigley's shin got the trainers', doctors' and coaches' OK. "Q" was listed as full-go at practice all week, kicked without incident, and will resume his season as the Jets punter Sunday at Oakland.
Team Takes Flight to Oakland on Friday Afternoon After Practice