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Rex on McKnight diagnosis: 'I'll stand by our doctors...and not look for a witch hunt'

New York Jets running back Joe McKnight is

New York Jets running back Joe McKnight is helped by trainers after being injured on a play with linebacker JoJo Dickson, top, during NFL football training camp in Cortland, N.Y., Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. ( Photo/Hans Pennink) (Credit: Hans Pennink)

Rex Ryan still isn't comfortable saying Joe McKnight's recent head injury was a concussion. Even though Joe McKnight admitted as much.

The Jets running back/kick returner told the Associated Press Tuesday that he was suffering from a migraine the day he was carted off from practice after he collapsed during practice during individual drills.

“People don’t know that I deal with migraines,” he told the AP reporter. “So, I was dealing with that and then I hit my head on the ground on that play and it made the migraine even worse, plus I was just coming back from a concussion.

“That was scary for me. But I had to do what the doctors told me.”

While in Cortland, Ryan was repeatedly asked about McKnight’s concussion-like symptoms – but the Jets coach only termed it a “head injury.” And when informed Wednesday that McKnight disclosed that he had, in fact, been suffering from a concussion, Ryan still stuck to his familiar script.

“I’m staying with a head injury,” he said. “Right now, the last two days he’s been out there (in) full pads so that’s good to see. But my information was that it was a head injury and that’s all I’m comfortable saying about it.

McKnight was cleared to return to practice a few days later, wearing a red no-contact jersey. Tuesday was his first full day of participation without the red jersey.

Asked why the Jets would allow the player to practice a few days after suffering a concussion, Ryan grew snippy. “Our trainers, this isn’t their first rodeo with anything,” he said. “But when our trainers say that a young man can practice, then he’s been cleared to practice. It’s as simple as that.

“The fact that Joe was in a red jersey meant non-contact and there was no contact that day with him. You might recall, he caught a ball and fell to the ground. That’s when he got hurt.

“But I’ll stand by our doctors and our trainers and not look for a witch hunt.”

“What I get (from the trainers) is he’s out, or limited, or whatever with the head injury. And that’s what I’m comfortable saying. Unless something specifically was there that says ‘concussion,’ I’m going to say exactly what’s on the list.”

Ryan later reiterated that he had never been told McKnight had a concussion.

“I was informed that he had a head injury. And that was it,” he said. “And I lean on the trainers and the doctors, as does any coach in this league. And that is what was told to me.”  

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