FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Derrick Mason was on the field for only six plays in the Jets' 30-21 loss to the Patriots Sunday, leading many to wonder why the veteran wide receiver didn't get more playing time.
Mason barely played in the first half, lining up for only one snap. He said after the game it was "a coincidence" that he didn't see much of the field a week after his critical postgame comments in Baltimore, when he said there were some "cracks" within the Jets' offense. Rex Ryan validated Mason's statement Monday, making it clear that Mason's time wasn't diminished in favor of rookie Jeremy Kerley because of his criticism of the offense.
He said he spoke with Mason, who has 13 catches for 115 yards, last week to inform him of the game plan.
"I can tell you this: It had nothing to do with the conversation he had with the media," Ryan said. "I had a conversation with Derrick, and the reason he never played as much had absolutely nothing to do with the conversation he had with media. We never brought it up.
"I didn't put a muzzle on anybody."
A published report Sunday suggested that Mason -- along with fellow wideouts Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes -- had gone to Ryan to voice displeasure about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, fueling speculation that Mason didn't play much because of that. But Ryan reiterated Monday that whole scenario never happened.
"I said it was untrue because it was untrue," he said. "The great thing with that one is I can guarantee you it was untrue, because I was the guy that supposedly had the conversations. Well, I can tell you this 100 percent: I did not have the conversations."
Ryan expected Kerley's workload to increase against the Patriots, though. The rookie, who had been playing mostly on special teams through the first four weeks, was solid with three receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown in his 18 snaps.
"We knew going into it that regular personnel was going to be a bigger group, as was two tight ends, two backs," Ryan said. "We'll call it 'U.' Those things were going to be bigger parts of the plan. But it's also a thing where I wanted to get Kerley involved more.
"Derrick is still going to be a part of what we do. I just thought that we can do some things with Kerley. I think we're excited the way he is out there on the practice field, and we'll see going forward."