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Sheldon Richardson apologizes -- again

Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson speaks to reporters

Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson speaks to reporters during the second day of training camp at the practice facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, July 31th, 2015. Credit: Andrew Theodorakis

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Sheldon Richardson insisted this was his "wake-up call."

A day after apologizing for being suspended for four games by the NFL after failing another drug test, the Jets' Pro Bowl defensive tackle again offered mea culpas -- this time for charges stemming from an alleged street race July 14 in Missouri that resulted in his being charged with resisting arrest and several traffic violations, all misdemeanors.

"It's a legal matter, and it's ongoing, so I can't really say too much about that night," Richardson said Friday, a day after reporters -- and the Jets -- finally caught wind of his run-in with the law. "I would just like to apologize again to my teammates. I already had a little personal meeting with everybody; Coach brought everybody in . . . I apologize to my family, to the Jets' organization; they're still standing behind me. I'm thankful and grateful for that. My family that was in the car with me . . . [It was] a wake-up call."

Police said they clocked Richardson driving as fast as 143 mph with a 12-year-old relative and a fully loaded, concealed gun in the car. There also was an odor of marijuana in the car, police said.

On Thursday, Richardson, 24, was charged by St. Charles County (Mo.) prosecutor Tim Lohmar. But though he was arrested more than two weeks ago, Richardson didn't inform the team before the news broke Thursday.

"You lose a lot of trust," coach Todd Bowles said, adding that the Jets "are prepared to win without" Richardson.

"Actions speak louder than words. And as a man, you have to own up to what you've done. And not only own up to it, you have to show change through your actions . . . You're not just going to take [someone's] word for it."

On Thursday afternoon, Richardson insisted he isn't "a dope fiend" and guaranteed the Jets "don't have to worry about my name being in the news again."

Then the news broke about the new charges. Clearly, he was wrong.

"What I said yesterday, I still mean today," said the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year. "I promise you that you won't hear my name again.

"I've been clean, still clean. Whether you believe it or not, that's on you. Once again, I apologize to everybody."

Bowles said the Jets will wait to see how the situation plays out with the prosecutor's office and the NFL before any disciplinary decisions are made. Richardson's arraignment reportedly is scheduled for Aug. 31.

"It's disappointing," Bowles said. "If it happens two times in that kind of time span, you're more worried about Sheldon the man as opposed to Sheldon the player. That's the biggest thing . . . Right now, I'm just worried about getting him the help that he needs. I'm not even worried about the football player. We can win without him, but it'd probably be more fun with him. But we're prepared to win without him.''

Asked why he didn't divulge the arrest to his team, Richardson said he's a private person who handles his business on his own. "Just wasn't smart," he said, adding that he's still coping with the recent death of a family member. "I made a bad decision not contacting them. I didn't want to get in trouble as far as my own team and my own organization, who's out here trying to lend a hand for me. I just denied it pretty much. My parents didn't even know. They found out on the news.''

But while Richardson believes his biggest "problem" is being open with people, Bowles seemed to indicate his issues run deeper than that. "If he fails another drug test, he's going down the wrong road. And those are demons you have to live with," he said. "Clearly he needs some help."

Rookie WR breaks ribs. The Jets' receiving corps just took a big hit. The team announced Friday night that rookie Devin Smith suffered broken ribs as a result of a post-catch collision during practice. The former Ohio State star will miss the majority of training camp, the Jets said, adding that he spent the night in the hospital as a precaution.

Smith had one of the best plays, hauling in a pass from Geno Smith that had deflected off of cornerback Marcus Williams. As Smith came down with the football, he was hit from behind by safety Jaiquawn Jarrett. Smith appeared woozy and was slow to get up. He later walked off the field with head trainer John Mellody.


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