Pennington injured in second quarter of Jets' 15-14 win
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Chad Pennington landed hard on the turf after being tackled from behind and immediately clutched his left wrist.
Just like that, another starting quarterback was seriously injured in the preseason.
Pennington dislocated and fractured his left wrist in the Jets' 15-14 victory over the New York Giants on Saturday night and is out indefinitely.
He was tackled from behind by Brandon Short after throwing away a pass with just under two minutes remaining in the first half and landed awkwardly on his wrist.
Pennington had X-rays at Giants Stadium, which revealed the fracture-dislocation, and was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York for immediate surgery. The Jets do not know how long their starting quarterback will be out, and said Pennington's status would be determined after surgery.
Vinny Testaverde, who turns 40 in November, entered the game in place of Pennington.
"We ran a blitz ... I came up the middle untouched," Short said. "Chad rolled to his right. I must have grabbed his legs right as he threw the ball, and he fell down on his arms and was just lying there.
"I asked him if he was all right, and he just kept lying there until the trainers came out. It's unfortunate to see someone go down like that."
This is the second time in as many weeks a starting quarterback was injured in an exhibition game. Last week, Falcons starter Michael Vick broke his right leg against Baltimore and is expected to be out at least six weeks.
"It's really unfortunate because we don't want to see anyone get hurt," said Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who did not play because of a toe injury. "For him to get hurt like that in a preseason game is just a shame."
Pennington replaced Testaverde in the fifth game of last season. Testaverde started 1-3, and Jets coach Herman Edwards decided a change was necessary.
The young backup engineered a tremendous turnaround for the Jets, who ended up winning the AFC East and finishing the regular-season 9-7 after a 2-5 start.
Pennington led the NFL with a 104.2 passer rating and 68.9 completion percentage. He finished 275-of-399 for 3,120 yards with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions.
His favorite target was Laveranues Coles, who left in the offseason for the Washington Redskins. In the preseason, Pennington was building chemistry with new addition Curtis Conway, along with Santana Moss and Wayne Chrebet.
Against the Giants, Pennington was 4-of-12 for 58 yards before getting hurt.
Testaverde, meanwhile, took his new role as backup with class. But the 17-year veteran saw limited time in the preseason before Pennington's injury. In the first three games, he played one series and went 1-of-3 for 8 yards and an interception.
He saw his first extended action Saturday and finished 5-of-11 for 48 yards.
Now Testaverde becomes the starter again. Two weeks ago, Edwards said he wanted to figure out a way to get Testaverde to 40,000 yards passing. Testaverde is 442 yards away from the mark, which only eight others have reached.
Even though they lost, the Giants (0-3) finally got their offense going. After scoring just one touchdown in their first two preseason games, they got touchdowns on consecutive possessions.
Kerry Collins guided a 21-play, 95-yard drive that ate up 9:58 of the first quarter. Collins threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Visanthe Shiancoe on fourth-and-goal to start the scoring.
On their next possession, Collins threw an 88-yard touchdown pass to Ike Hilliard to make it 14-0. Hilliard had an outstanding game, catching seven passes for 150 yards.
Collins also looked good and played into the third quarter, finishing 13-of-23 for 198 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Nothing went right for the Jets (2-2). They wanted to work on their running game against the Giants, but starter Curtis Martin had 10 carries for just 14 yards. The Giants dominated the first half, and the Jets' only points came on a 40-yard field goal by Doug Brien.
Brien kicked two other field goals, and the Jets took the lead in the fourth quarter when Chad Brinker scored on a 2-yard run.
Several others were injured Saturday. For the Jets: DE John Abraham (back spasms) and T Chris Smith (ankle). For the Giants: T Chris Bober (ribs), TE Marcellus Rivers (thigh bruise), LB Nick Greisen (hamstring), G Sean O'Connor (sprained ankle); LB Dhani Jones (sprained ankle).
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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