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Jets’ Wilkerson OK After Flipping His Car On Garden State Parkway

Big Defensive Lineman Gets Stitches And Is Ticketed For Careless Driving
Muhammad Wilkerson, Sione Pouha

Muhammad Wilkerson, middle, received stitches to his forearm after flipping his 2011 Dodge Challenger on the Garden State Parkway on June 24, 2012. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson is expected to be ready for training camp next month after suffering minor injuries in a two-car crash early Saturday.

New Jersey State Police Lt. Stephen Jones said Monday that Wilkerson was driving a 2011 Dodge Challenger northbound on the Garden State Parkway in Kenilworth, Union County. He attempted to change lanes and struck the rear left side of a 2011 Toyota Sienna carrying 11 people.

Wilkerson’s vehicle flipped over and came to rest on its roof.

A team spokesman said Wilkerson received stitches in one of his forearms after the accident, but is expected to join his teammates when the Jets report for training camp in Cortland, N.Y., on July 26. Wilkerson voluntarily came to the Jets’ training facility in Florham Park, N.J., on Monday to meet with team doctors.

“The team is aware of the car accident Saturday morning and has been in contact with Muhammad,” the Jets said in a statement.

Jones said three people in the minivan reported pain, but they declined treatment at the scene.

Wilkerson, 22, was ticketed for careless driving and failure to maintain his lane, but police don’t believe alcohol was involved.

The former Linden High star was the Jets’ first-round pick out of Temple last year and had a solid rookie season, starting all 16 games and compiling 49 tackles, three sacks and a safety. Coach Rex Ryan raved about Wilkerson during New York’s recently completed three-day minicamp, saying that he expects even bigger things from him this season as he teams with Quinton Coples, this year’s first-round pick, on a deep defensive line.

“He’s going to be hard to ignore, that’s for sure,” Ryan said of Wilkerson. “The thing that you always look for in a young man, a rookie coming into the league, a lot of times he’ll hit that wall and they’ll do just the opposite. He actually got better as the season went on. He was playing at a super high level by the end of the season and he’s actually gotten better.”

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)