FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Lorenzo Mauldin may not be back yet but the New York Jets rookie linebacker is making progress after a concussion suffered two weeks ago and the after effects frightened a sold-out MetLife Stadium.
In the fourth quarter of what would become a Jets Week 1 blowout win, Mauldin forced a fumbled on Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, hitting the ground hard. He got up momentarily, took a couple steps then hit the ground hard again, falling backwards and laying motionless. He eventually was stretchered off before being taken to the hospital. He said "I was out" when he hit the turf.
The treatment he received was reminiscent of players who were paralyzed, causing many to fear that Mauldin's injuries were extreme.
It wasn't until the hospital when he woke up the next morning. He was told what happened and he can't recall the play or its aftermath.
"I just know I was going in for Manziel, pretty much I think I took a blow to the jaw or something. I had a migraine before that play, it's going away but I'm thinking it triggered something," Mauldin said on Wednesday, his first comments since the concussion.
"The last thing I remember was going in for Manziel, they said I caused a football but I couldn't even enjoy that because I can't remember [it]."
He felt drowsy for a few days after the concussion and he had "fatigue" as well as other"small symptoms." Mauldin, the Jets third round pick, wore sunglasses for three days as his eyes acclimated to the brightness of the light. Given that he is susceptible to migraines he wanted to be careful and followed the medical staff's instructions carefully.
He still hasn't watched the play yet.
That game was his NFL debut and he hopes to see the field soon. This week, he's done a little practice, starting with some work on Tuesday and a little more on Wednesday. Mauldin hopes to play on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles but still needs to clear the concussion protocol.