Jalen Saunders Injury: Updates on Free Agent WR's Status and Return

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2014

New York Jets wide receiver Jalen Saunders catches a pass during the Jets NFL football training camp Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Cortland, N.Y.  (AP Photo)
Uncredited/Associated Press

Updates from Monday, Sept. 29

Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press reported that the Jets have released Jalen Saunders:

Updates from Sunday, Sept. 28

Jalen Saunders has been ruled out for Week 4's meeting with the Detroit Lions:

Updates from Thursday, Aug. 28

A.J. Perez of NJ.com has the latest on Jalen Saunders from an August 15th incident: 

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders had to be physically restrained by three Florham Park officers during a seizure that occurred on Aug. 15, according to documents obtained by NJ.com.

"Subject suffered a medical event . . . and needed to be restrained for his safety," each of the three officers wrote in their respective use of force reports.

One of the officers -- whose name was redacted in an incident report obtained by NJ.com -- was taken to Morristown Medical Center for evaluation for an injury sustained during the incident. He was later released and picked up by another member of the Florham Park Police Department.

No charges have been sought against Saunders.

Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 26

Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post reports Saunders' thoughts on the incident and his return to camp:

But Saunders said doctors have warned he could still suffer more seizures like the one that resulted in him being hospitalized after a single-car accident Aug. 15 on his way to the team’s Florham Park facility.

“I’m not too sure it can’t happen again,” Saunders said. “I don’t know the causes for it, so I don’t have any straight answers to give.”


“Anybody that loves me should be worried,” Saunders said. “I was scared myself. It was something that was very, very scary in my life.”

Saunders said he was initially told his driving privileges were being revoked. That ban was quickly lifted, but Saunders said he hasn’t driven a car since the accident.

“It’s a scary situation,” Saunders said. “But I’m moving on from it, and I’m blessed to be alive.”

Updates from Monday, Aug. 25

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News has an update on Jalen Saunders:

Darryl Slater of The Star-Ledger had more on Saunders' status:

Starters don’t play in the final preseason game, so don’t expect to see Kerley. But Saunders will get a bunch of action against the Eagles, since doctors have cleared him to resume practicing and playing.

“They just cleared him, so we feel good about that now,” Ryan said of Saunders’s medical situation. “He’ll be ready to roll. Expect to see a great deal of him in this game against Philly on Thursday night as a receiver, as well as a punt returner.”

Original Text

New York Jets receiver Jalen Saunders was involved in a car accident and will be out for at least a week of action. 

The team's Twitter account provides the latest details on the incident:

Rich Cimini of ESPN.com adds his perspective on the situation:

Saunders was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 draft out of Oklahoma. After the Jets finished 31st in the NFL in passing in 2013 with no receiver topping 600 yards, the opportunity is certainly there for the rookie to make an impact this season.

He struggled to get onto the field with the offense in the first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, finishing with just one reception for one yard. On the other hand, he was a go-to option in special teams as the squad's only punt returner, totaling 11 yards on two attempts.

After the receiver scored two touchdowns with an average of 15.4 yards per punt return last season with the Sooners, he has a good chance of keeping this role going forward.

Unfortunately, the accident that sent him to the hospital could end up being a setback, even if it turns out not to be too serious. Missing the second preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals will prevent him from getting a great opportunity to impress the coaches in a game situation.

Jets receivers coach Sanjay Lal admitted the rookie receivers "have a long way to go," via Dom Cosentino of NJ.com. Saunders needs all the time he can get in training camp to learn the system and continue to develop as a player.

Hopefully the injury turns out to be minor and he will be able to rejoin the team without missing too much more time.

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