Sheldon Richardson survives injury scare to deliver against Bills

Sheldon Richardson played an impressive first game of his career against the Bucs. Credit: Getty Images
Sheldon Richardson was originally injured tackling Doug Martin of the Bucs in the season opener.
Credit: Getty Images

Jets rookie defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson got up after a play and slowly began to rotate his arm during the Buccaneers’ first offensive series. It looked for a moment that a shoulder injury suffered two weeks ago had been reaggravated. But Richardson stayed in and had a very effective game.

A left shoulder contusion suffered in the Jets’ season opening win over the Buccaneers kept Richardson from being a full go in practice earlier last week, but Richardson bounced back to have a quietly solid four tackles and a sack in Sunday’s win over the Bills.

After warming up before the opening kickoff, Richardson’s shoulder stiffened up with the Jets’ opening drive taking 5:54 off the clock. That time of inactivity caught up to him on the opening series.

“Most definitely got it out of my system,” Richardson told Metro. “The offense had a little bit of a longer drive so it got a little cold, a little stiff. So that first contact got to me a little bit — most definitely tightened up.”

Richardson was checked out by the team’s medical staff after the game and everything came back “negative.”

The initial injury was a “Welcome to the NFL” moment for Richardson. In his NFL debut, the No. 13 pick in the NFL Draft was trying to make a play when a simple moment ended up injuring him.

“Week 1, series two — my first regular season action — was tackling Doug Martin,” Richardson said. “He was running, [and I] met him at the line. [I] wrapped him up and as I wrapped him up, we were falling, and as I was falling, his guard fell on me with his full body weight. … It messed my shoulder up, then I hit the turf.

“It gets numb after a while and you just have to play through it. After high school, it isn’t as well as you play, it is how well you play hurt. How much can you produce while you’re hurting? My tolerance is pretty high. I am trying to battle through it. We’re trying to work our way through it.”

Richardson isn’t being limited in practice right now, although he was earlier last week.

“I can do pretty much anything I need to do in practice,” Richardson said.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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