Jets' B. Smith dealing with concussion after vicious hit in 49ers game
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jets wide receiver Brad Smith has a concussion as a result of a vicious hit he took from San Francisco's Patrick Willis, and his status for New York's game against Buffalo on Sunday was uncertain.
Jets coach Eric Mangini, who confirmed the head injury Thursday, said Smith has only been participating in light workouts during practice.
"There's improvement," Mangini said before practice. "If he does anything at all, it will be light stuff today. Really, it's the same process we've been doing."
Smith caught a seven-yard pass across the middle with 2:14 left in the 49ers' 24-14 win Sunday and was simultaneously grabbed from behind by Michael Lewis and slammed into by Willis, with the 49ers linebacker's shoulder and then his helmet appearing to strike Smith's helmet.
Smith's body bent backward on top of Lewis, the wide receiver appearing stunned. Smith then popped up and walked a few yards before getting woozy and going down on one knee.
Mangini was asked if Willis should be penalized by the league for a helmet-to-helmet hit.
"I don't know," Mangini said. "Eric Smith was."
Eric Smith was fined and suspended one game by the NFL for a scary helmet-to-helmet hit on Arizona's Anquan Boldin in Week 4. A major reason for the severity of the punishment was the league ruling that Boldin was in a defenseless position. Mangini was asked if Brad Smith was also in a similar position when he was hit.
"I don't know," he said, comparing it to a few questionable calls against the Jets in recent games. "To me, it's a judgment call."
Smith, a former college quarterback, has 10 catches for 68 yards and 11 carries for 116 yards in his third season. If he doesn't play Sunday, David Clowney could take his place.
The speedy receiver led the AFC in the preseason with 222 yards receiving on eight catches with two touchdowns, but has been inactive for all 13 games. He injured a shoulder before the regular season, but is fully healed and Mangini said he has been looking for an opportunity to have Clowney active for a game.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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