For weeks, Jets head coach Rex Ryan has been lobbying for Muhammad Wilkerson to get a look at the Pro Bowl. Now, Wilkerson may not even be able to play in the season finale.
Per a team spokesman, Wilkerson suffered a concussion on Sunday during the 27-17 loss to the Chargers, but didn’t exhibit any symptoms until after the game. Wilkerson, who was also listed with a knee injury, did not practice on Wednesday.
“[It] obviously [happened] at the end of the game. It was kind of news to me that he had a concussion. Hopefully he’ll be able to play,” Ryan said. “I think it was after the game. I’m not 100 percent sure, but I know I wasn’t aware of it till yesterday.”
Before he is cleared for practice, Wilkerson will need to go through testing that will examine him for concussion symptoms. A player with a concussion is given a baseline test to determine his “orientation, memory, concentration and balance,” per the NFL’s guidelines and protocols.
Wilkerson, last year’s first-round pick, has been praised by Ryan in recent weeks. The defensive end has 66 tackles and five sacks this season, four of which have come in the last six games.
Given the NFL’s strict protocols for concussions, there is a strong possibility he might not play this Sunday in Buffalo in the season finale.
“That would be a big concern, without question. Mo is one of the best interior linemen in the league. I hope he gets that kind of respect when the Pro Bowl voting comes out,” Ryan said.
Gang Green notes
» Pro Bowl voting was released Wednesday evening and Wilkerson did not make the team. The interior linemen named were Vince Wilfork (New England), Geno Atkins (Cincinnati) and Haloti Ngata (Baltimore). Players who make the Super Bowl do not play in the Pro Bowl, however, and all three players named are on playoff teams. So there is a chance Wilkerson could be a replacement, though he was not named as an alternate.
The only two players from the Jets named to the Pro Bowl were safety LaRon Landry, who was signed to a one-year deal before the season, and cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who stepped up impressively when Darrelle Revis was injured.
» With the Jets sitting on a 6-9 record, some younger players might be getting extra snaps this game. One of those players is mammoth nose tackle Damon Harrison out of NAIA-program William Penn. Following an impressive rookie camp, Harrison has managed to stick around and play in some games. Ryan said on Wednesday that Harrison could get an extra look this weekend.
» On the flip side, some Jets players could be playing their final games in green and white and perhaps in the NFL.
“Shoot, nothing is guaranteed, player, coach or whatever,” Ryan said. “For some guys in our locker room, it might be the last time you play in the National Football League.”
» Starting quarterback Greg McElroy was a full-go in practice despite an abdomen injury.