FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders will sit out the New York Jets’ preseason game against the Giants on Friday after being hospitalized over the weekend following a car accident.
Saunders, a fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma, had what police called a “medical event” on his way to the team’s practice facility last Friday morning. He was released from the hospital Sunday morning and rejoined the team Monday, but did not practice.
“Right now, we’re taking a cautious approach with him, which is a smart approach,” coach Rex Ryan said. “We’ll see how he progresses.”
According to an incident report by the Florham Park Police Dept., the 21-year-old experienced an unspecified “medical event” as he made a left turn onto Park Ave. — less than a minute from the facility — at 7:50 a.m. Saunders didn’t complete the turn, and his 2014 black Toyota Corolla struck a curb and stopped in “high grass.”
Saunders wasn’t given a drug or alcohol test by police, and there is no pending investigation. He was taken to the hospital, and his car was towed to the Jets’ facility.
The police didn’t provide any further details, and Ryan and the team said Saunders would speak to the media either Tuesday or Wednesday.
“He could tell you a lot better than I could about what happened and how he is and all that kind of stuff,” Ryan said.
Saunders spent most of practice riding the stationary bike on the sideline and working with trainers. He did not participate in any drills as the team eases him back to the field.
Ryan did not rule out Saunders returning to practice at some point this week, but added that it’s too early to determine whether he will be available for the season opener against Oakland on Sept. 7.
“We’ll see how he is each day, and I know our trainers and our doctors are going to monitor his situation,” Ryan said.
The speedy Saunders, the 104th pick overall, is expected to compete for a role as a backup receiver and punt returner. He returned two punts for 11 yards in the preseason opener against Indianapolis, but did not catch a pass.
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