Receiver out with concussion
Chrebet will not play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders and is listed as week to week.
He was hurt in the third quarter last Sunday when Omar Stoutmire delivered a blow to the back of his head, causing Chrebet to briefly lose consciousness. Dr. Elliot Pellman, chairman of the Jets' medical department, carefully evaluated Chrebet on the sideline and determined he had recovered from the concussion to return to the game.
On Monday, coach Herman Edwards said Chrebet had a sore neck and back. Chrebet underwent several exams that were negative, but started complaining about fatigue and headaches later that day.
After Pellman evaluated Chrebet again Wednesday, he determined Chrebet should not play until he knew what was causing the symptoms. Pellman does not know whether Chrebet has post-concussion syndrome, so he will undergo more tests and be evaluated by an independent neurologist.
``Am I just being cautious? The answer is yes,'' Pellman said. ``Am I second-guessing myself for returning him to play Sunday? The answer is no. Am I concerned enough for him not to play this weekend? Yes.
``Will I look at you and say, 'Will Wayne Chrebet play football again?' Yeah, I think so, but I'm not sure. I need some help with this one, and that's why I'm reaching out to the experts.''
Earlier in the year, Chrebet hurt his back against the Buffalo Bills. But he complained of migraines, blurry vision and light sensitivity, and Pellman determined the force of the hit triggered a post-traumatic migraine. Chrebet did not play the following week against Houston because of his sore back.
Edwards said the hit Chrebet took against the Giants was in the same place he got hurt against the Bills. Chrebet wanted to get back in the game, but now regrets the decision.
``It was stupid trying to get back out there,'' Chrebet said. ``It was me trying to convince them and myself that everything was all right.''
Chrebet, a nine-year veteran, also had similar problems in 2001. He took a helmet-to-helmet hit against Miami and sustained a concussion, but played the following week against the Rams.
In that game, he took another hit to the helmet. Chrebet had post-traumatic migraines _ not a concussion. Chrebet only missed one game, but expressed concern about his long-term health.
He does not want to do anything to jeopardize his future.
``I'm not going to fight this,'' Chrebet said. ``Usually you try to fight and lie to get back on the field, but this is the smart thing to do.''
Chrebet has 27 catches for 289 yards and one touchdown this season, and Curtis Conway once again will start in his place.
``Any time things like that happen you are concerned with a lot of things. That's human nature,'' Edwards said. ``He probably is. You have to think about your long-term longevity.''
Chrebet said he has been undergoing tests for the last few weeks and will not rush his return. He will not travel with the team to Oakland.
``A lot of guys get concussions and injuries every week and guys play with it,'' Chrebet said. ``It's part of the game. You just have to take the right precautions afterward to make sure you're healthy before you get back out there. That's what they're doing right now.''
Pellman said he is worried that because Chrebet has taken so many hits to the head, he could become predisposed to sustaining concussions or developing post-concussion syndrome.
Former Jets receiver Al Toon retired because of post-concussion syndrome.
``Is this another player that is entering that dark hole of post-concussion syndrome?'' Pellman said. ``I will answer you honestly and I will tell you I do not know. I also will tell you Wayne Chrebet is not Al Toon. I have retired players, some unhappily, because of this injury.''
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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