Calvin Pryor watched most of Saturdays' practise from the sideline after suffering a head injury while acting as the personal punt protector for the punter in a drill. Pryor then left the field with the head trainer and headed back to the locker-room, he re-emerged around 15 minutes later and watched the remainder of practise from the sideline.
We don't know if it is a concussion just yet, however when the team knows, we'll know:
"You know the new protocol is that if we know there is a concussion, you guys will know about it immediately," Ryan told reporters. "So don't think we're covering something up. As of right now, we don't know if it's a concussion or not. But it was a head injury, and obviously, when those things happen, you're always going to side on being cautious. So that's what we're doing. Whether it's a concussion or not, I'm not sure. We'll see how that progresses."
Some have questioned why Pryor was protecting on the punt unit to begin with. A first round selection, who is almost guaranteed to see a lot of time on defense, playing specials. Ryan addressed this subject in his press conference and I completely agree with him. We need to focus on specials, a key aspect to the game, so having a good tackler like Pryor on special teams duty makes a lot of sense.
"I just know (Pryor) will be playing an awful lot (on defense), whether he's a starter or whatever," Ryan said. "He is going to play a bunch, and not just on defense. He'll play on special teams, as will Landry, Antonio Allen, all of our guys. I'd like to be a dominant special teams unit as well. We're going to put great players on those units, and Calvin certainly will be on that. And again, obviously he will have a big impact on our defense."
With the current lawsuit dispute between the NFL and former players, it's no surprise any suspected concussion is treated with tremendous care, and that's the way it should be. The Jets have invested a lot in Pryor, so it makes sense to remove him from any drills (especially contact ones like we saw today) and ensure he is 100% before trotting him back out there.
Ryan described the play on which Pryor hurt his head like this: "He came in there and had a good collision, so it's not like you can say he got dinged or whatever. But ‘dinged' now means you be cautious and do what's in the best interest of the young man. That's where we're at."