PITTSBURGH (AP) — A week after the New York Jets carried his jersey to midfield, former defensive end Dennis Byrd has joined them as an honorary captain for the coin toss before the AFC championship game against the Steelers.
Former Super Bowl winners Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier are honorary captains for Pittsburgh.
Byrd’s career ended in 1992, when he broke his neck in a collision with a teammate in a game, leaving him temporarily paralyzed. Three months later, he walked on crutches to a news conference at his hospital in Manhattan.
He gave an emotional speech the night before New York’s 28-21 victory at New England last Sunday, and the jersey torn from his torso more than 18 years ago hung in the Jets’ locker room during the game.