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SportsFootballJets

Eric Decker gives it a go but leaves game after just one catch

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) is hit

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) is hit by a Chicago Bears defender in the second quarter of a game, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: AP / Julio Cortez

Eric Decker wasn't about to sit.

The competitor in him needed to be on the field Monday night, doing anything he could to help his team earn a victory. But in the end, Decker wasn't able to do much of anything against the Chicago Bears.

The Jets' top receiver was cleared to play after testing his hamstring during warm-ups, but he was ruled out in the second half because of tightness in his leg.

"It felt good to the point where it wasn't painful," said Decker, who caught one pass for 19 yards. "It wasn't a pain that was going to lead to something more severe. It was a soreness, and I've played through a lot of soreness in my career so far. I felt like I wanted to give it a chance. I didn't want to sit out. I didn't do anything stupid with playing. I pulled myself at the right time. It's just unfortunate that I had to come off."

Decker -- who left last week's loss in Green Bay with the injury -- did not practice all week until Saturday, when he was limited. He was listed as questionable on the official injury report, but the medical staff made the call after seeing Decker do agility drills and straight-line sprints about three hours before the game.

Coach Rex Ryan said he believed that Decker would make it through the game, adding that the plan wasn't to use the Jets' No. 1 receiver on every snap. "We were going to cut his reps way back, and we did that," Ryan said. "That was the plan going in."

Now the Jets have a short week of preparation before Sunday's game against the Lions. And for a second straight week, Decker's game-time status will be a major story line. But he didn't seem worried about missing the game.

"I don't call today a setback," he said, adding that the tightness he felt Monday night isn't on par with the initial injury he suffered in Green Bay. "I got out at the right time. If I keep progressing, I feel like I'll be good to go by the weekend."

Decker made it clear he had no regrets about suiting up against the Bears.

"It's hard when you're a competitor," he said. "You want to be out there every day. You don't want to miss a practice or miss a game. I haven't missed a game in my career besides the playoffs. Honestly, that's how it is. If I can give it a go, I'm going to give it a go."

New York Sports