Every player needs a nickname. Some need to get rid of one.
Take Jerrel Jernigan, the rookie receiver who got his first opportunity to return a kickoff on Sunday against the Patriots. He injured his hip on that opportunity and hasn’t been on the field since, including the last two practices.
So what did Tom Coughlin say they are calling Jernigan now?
“One Play J.J.”
Ouch. That may be Coughlin’s best zinger since “Beckum is Beckum.”
“Yeah,” Jernigan said despondently when told about the moniker.
That’s not something he’d like to have stick.
“No, not at all,” he said.
Jernigan said he started running in the pool today, but he has yet to run on the ground and won’t play this week. He expects to be ready to play next weekend against the Eagles. And he also expects to have more opportunities.
“I feel like I could be that guy,” he said of the teams search for special teams returners. “Last week I got my opportunity and had a freak injury on my hip. But I feel like I could be that guy.”
He just needs one more chance to erase his new nickname. Or better yet, change it just a little bit.
Maybe at some point this season we’ll start calling him “Big Play J.J.”