I feared the worst. As Lorenzo Mauldin lay motionless on the MetLife Stadium turf, I thought his career could be in danger. I thought that we may be seeing another Dennis Byrd situation. Fortunately Mauldin is on the mend and he hopes to be ready for Philadelphia. Now that appears to be a bit of a long-shot and the Jets won't take any chances. We can say it was "just" a concussion because of the initial fears, but a concussion is never something to take lightly.
Listening to Mauldin describe the scene to the associated press is eye-opening.
"I'm thinking to myself, 'OK, how did I get in the hospital? I thought I was just on the field,'" Mauldin recalled Wednesday. "I had known something had to have happened because I wasn't on the field and I wasn't on the bus to go home after the win."
Players confirmed that he wasn't moving, that he wasn't talking and that his eyes had rolled into the back of his head. it's little surprise then that Lorenzo can't remember any of it. Going from rushing the passer to laying in a hospital bed, without being able to remember a thing, must have been absolutely terrifying.
I think I took a blow to the jaw or something," Mauldin said while speaking to reporters for the first time since the injury. "I had a migraine before that play, but it was going away. I'm thinking that it maybe triggered something. They say I caused a fumble, but I couldn't even enjoy that because I don't remember it."
"I was out," Mauldin said, "so I don't remember any of that, being carted off or guys touching me or talking to me."
Players rushed to his bedside to check in on their team-mates, including wide receiver and locker room leader Brandon Marshall. When something serious happens to one players, it happens to every player. Not only are they fearful for their teammates, but they understand that it could have been them. It's a physical game these men play and injury is a very real possibility every single second they are on that field.
Fortunately, no long term injuries were sustained. Despite having to wear sunglasses for several days, Mauldin confirmed that he had passed all the mental aspects of his recovery and it's now down to the physical. We may not see Mauldin this week against Philadelphia, but he is well on course to return to the field when the Jets take on the Dolphins in London next Sunday.
We're just thankful that he's on the road back.
I feel good," he said. "I'm back to myself, normal, 100 percent."