Typically, no one’s to blame for a head injury or even a concussion involving a player. But if we’re talking about rookie safety Calvin Pryor, and his head injury during the Jets first padded practice on Saturday, the Jets are to blame.
According to ESPN New York, Pryor sustained a head injury during a collision on special teams, in which he was in the role of punt protector. But wait — why was Pryor playing punt protector in the first place?
Normally, rookies or players that are new to the team and are not starters just yet, will battle others that are trying to make the team. Often, their best chance is to make an impact on special teams. A good example of this would be cornerback Ellis Lankster. Listed as a backup the past few years, Lankster busted his tail on special teams and made it very difficult for the Jets to cut him. When a player is a special teams ace, he will likely make the squad over a player that is a third, fourth or even fifth string player that is not exactly a valuable contributor on special teams.
Pryor was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to become a key starter at safety for the Jets. He will likely start from day 1, meaning that using him on special teams is not worth the risk of injury. So why were the Jets using him as punt protector? You see where I’m going with this?
Pryor is far too valuable to be thrown into special teams as a punt protector. It’s too late now, but maybe the Jets will get the hint — that they should spare Pryor of special teams play, and instead rotate a few players that are battling to make the team.
Pryor actually got hurt on kickoff-return drill, not as punt protector. #nyj
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) July 27, 2014
Still, Pryor should not be participating in kickoff-return drills. It’s not worth the risk of him getting injured.
What do you think?
Should Calvin Pryor be on special teams?
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