FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jalen Saunders still isn’t quite sure what happened to him last weekend.
The New York Jets rookie wide receiver just knows it was scary, and he’s happy to be alive.
Saunders provided few details about the “medical event” that occurred last Friday morning that caused him to drive his car off the road near the team’s training facility. He’s still awaiting results from tests after being hospitalized for two days.
Saunders, a fourth-round pick from Oklahoma, did acknowledge that he never lost consciousness.
“It’s very shocking,” Saunders said, speaking for the first time since the incident. “Obviously, you don’t want to be at a young age going through something like that. It was a shocking situation, very unusual, but I’m alive and happy.”
Saunders didn’t think he had any type of pre-existing condition, and added that he would follow the advice of doctors and neurologists.
According to an incident report filed by the Florham Park Police Dept., Saunders experienced an unspecified “medical event” as he made a left turn onto Park Ave. — about a minute from the facility — at 7:50 a.m. last Friday. He didn’t complete the turn, and his 2014 black Toyota Corolla struck a curb and stopped in “high grass.”
He was then taken to a hospital, and his car towed to the Jets’ training facility.
“Whenever I find out what fully is going on, they’ll fully make me understand what’s going on with my body,” he said. “They haven’t said too much. I don’t know too much, so I really can’t just sit here and tell you what’s going on if I don’t know anything.”
Saunders preferred to not discuss how he felt at the time of the accident.
“I’m not trying to re-live that moment again,” he said. “That whole last-Friday thing, it was something that was unusual. That wasn’t part of me, I guess you could say.”
After undergoing a battery of tests, he re-joined the team but has not practiced. Doctors have not provided a timetable for when Saunders might be able to return to the field.
He is expected to be a backup wide receiver, but has been listed as the Jets’ No. 1 punt returner.
“Obviously, it’s not going to be like, ‘Oh, he looks fine,'” coach Rex Ryan said of when it will be determined Saunders can practice. “We’ll make darn sure this young man is OK, and then put him back out there.”
Saunders insisted he thinks he’ll return to the field “shortly” and added that he’s not concerned that his football career could be in jeopardy.
“That’s my gut feeling,” Saunders said. “I’ve got God by my side, so that’s all that matters.”
JETS PLACE MCDOUGLE ON SEASON-ENDING IR
McDougle, a third-round draft pick out of Maryland, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during training camp practice on Aug. 10. McDougle wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that he was having the surgery Wednesday, and the move by the Jets was expected.
McDougle is the second of the Jets’ 12 draft picks this year to land on IR in as many days. Wide receiver Shaquelle Evans, a fourth-rounder, was lost for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery Tuesday.
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