FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jets cornerbacks coach Tony Oden was back at practice with his left arm in a sling after getting hurt during an altercation in Wednesday’s joint practice with the Buccaneers.
Oden wouldn’t divulge the extent of the injury or what happened that led to him being carted off the field and taken to an area hospital for evaluation. Oden was in great spirits Thursday, joking and laughing and revealed he returned to the Jets’ facility Wednesday night after his release.
“I’m fine,” Oden said. “I’m 100% fine. I feel a little uncomfortable at times, but I’ll be OK. I don’t have to play. Those guys go out there and lay their bodies on the line every day. I’ll be damned if I’m not going to do the same.”
There were a number of altercations during Wednesday’s practice, but this was the biggest skirmish. It was a scary scene as trainers and medical personnel ran over to Oden, who was laying on the grass after the players were separated. Robert Saleh said Oden “caught some friendly fire.”
There was a point where Oden was motionless, and it appeared he might have lost consciousness. He tried to dismiss that.
“No, I just got tired,” Oden said. “I said, ‘Let me just sit down for a while. It was hot.”
The 50-year-old Oden added later, “It looked worse than it was. I definitely appreciate the support and the concern. I’m good. I’m ready.”
Oden, in his third season with the Jets, was asked if he broke his arm. He said no, but he wouldn’t get specific on where the injury was.
“We got some other things going on, we’re still trying to figure out what’s going on with that,” Oden said. “These guys deal with way worse than this. I’ll be danged if I talk about anything that I have. I’m just a coach. I just have to hold a clipboard, so I’ll be all right.”
Oden joked that his wife warned him before practice not to break up any fights. He told her he wouldn’t and tried to say he didn’t.
“I was not trying to break up a fight,” he said. “I was trying to prevent it from happening, which is totally different. So it was prehab instead of rehab. Those guys are a little too big, little too fast for me. I didn’t move my feet well enough, kind of got caught up a little bit. Got a little war wound, but it’ll be all right.”
Oden said that his wife was “so mad,” but she drove him back to the facility Wednesday night after making him shower and change out of some of the hospital gear.
“She said, ‘I’m not letting you walk in the office that way,” Oden said. “I said, ‘Yes ma’am.’ I did that, but she did bring me back so I got to spend some time watching some film and catching back up.”