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WR struggling with post-concussion effects

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Wayne Chrebet's latest head injury has ended his season.

The New York Jets placed the veteran receiver on injured reserve
Wednesday with a mild form of post-concussion syndrome, which he
developed after sustaining a concussion against the New York Giants
on Nov. 2.

Chrebet was hurt in the third quarter when Omar Stoutmire
delivered a blow to the back of his head, causing Chrebet to
briefly lose consciousness. But Dr. Elliot Pellman, chairman of the
Jets' medical department, determined Chrebet had recovered and
allowed him to return to the game.

Several days later, Chrebet complained of headaches and fatigue,
and did not play last Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

Pellman said the only way for Chrebet to get better is to rest.
He also expects Chrebet to return to the Jets next season.

"This is about Wayne returning to the Jets as a football
player," said Pellman, who also is the chairman of the NFL
subcommittee on mild traumatic brain injury. "It is to prevent him
from heading into that dark hole of being predisposed to
post-concussion syndrome. We are giving Wayne every opportunity to
get better."

This is just the latest head injury to befall Chrebet. He has
sustained at least five concussions in his pro and collegiate
career, and earlier this season had a post-traumatic migraine. He
also had a post-traumatic migraine in 2001.

Pellman is being cautious, but does not consider the injury
career-threatening.

"I am fairly confident that Wayne will play again next year,"
Pellman said. "What I cannot predict is whether he will suffer
another injury like this."

Pellman defended his decision to allow Chrebet to return to the
game against the Giants.

"The decision about Wayne returning to play was based on
scientific evaluation and medical evaluation. That evaluation and
that decision made no difference as to what's happening today,"
Pellman said.

Chrebet was not available for comment. But his agent, Art Weiss,
said Chrebet was disappointed he would miss the season.

"I'm not the least bit concerned long-term about Wayne, not at
all," Weiss said. "I can tell you that it makes good sense to
give him this time off so we can allow him the maximum time to
recover and continue his career."

The latest problems started in October. Chrebet, 30, hurt his
back against Buffalo, but he complained of migraines, blurry vision
and light sensitivity. It was determined that the force of the hit
triggered a post-traumatic migraine. Chrebet did not play the
following week against Houston because of his sore back.

He 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. He also sustained a
concussion during training camp in 2000 and had at least two while
playing for Hofstra.

The Jets now have serious problems at receiver. Santana Moss is
emerging, but free-agent acquisition Curtis Conway has flopped.
Reserve Jonathan Carter could see more playing time, and general
manager Terry Bradway said the Jets would have another receiver
signed by Thursday.

They did put in a bid for Kevin Johnson, but the Jaguars got him
instead.

Chrebet ends the season with 27 catches for 289 yards and a
touchdown.

"I expect Wayne will return next season and return better than
ever," Bradway said. "We'll have to get somebody in here not to
replace Wayne, but it's a little bit of a blow because he's one of
our top three guys right now that we were depending on."

The Jets also could have their starting secondary back against
the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Cornerback Donnie Abraham and safety Jon McGraw were upgraded to
questionable Wednesday. Cornerback Ray Mickens also was upgraded
from questionable to probable after injuring his neck against the
Raiders last week.

Abraham has missed seven games after breaking his right shoulder
in September, and McGraw has missed four games with a partially
dislocated right shoulder. All three practiced Wednesday.