FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Unbeknownst to the Jets at the time, Antonio Cromartie suffered a concussion in Sunday's win over the Raiders, according to coach Rex Ryan.
The team's top cornerback was slow to get up after a third-quarter collision with safety Ed Reed, but Ryan wasn't sure that specific incident resulted in the concussion. Both defensive backs returned on the next defensive series and Cromartie wasn't evaluated for a concussion during the game. Afterward, however, he began complaining of headaches. "Certainly, he wouldn't have been forced out there if anybody would have known about it," Ryan said.
Cromartie's status for Sunday's must-win game at Carolina is uncertain. But Ryan said he "felt better today."
"Guys like that type of stuff," the rookie quarterback said. "But the coaches didn't."
Asked about Smith's decision to lower his shoulder rather than slide, Ryan said he loved seeing his "competitive fire." But his initial thought was: " 'Really, kid?' . . . It's tough enough to stay healthy anyway, let alone putting yourself at that kind of risk."