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News » New York Jets Inside Slant 2008-09-30


New York Jets Inside Slant 2008-09-30


New York Jets Inside Slant 2008-09-30
The Jets make plenty of roster moves on their own. But Monday, the NFL made one for them.


Free safety Eric Smith received a one-game suspension from the NFL, plus a $50,000 fine, for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin with 27 seconds left in the Jets' 56-35 victory Sunday.

The Jets have a bye next Sunday, so Smith will miss the game against Cincinnati on Oct. 12. Smith has started three of the Jets' four games this season. Abram Elam, who started eight games for the Jets last season at free safety, could start against the Bengals. Or the Jets could start David Barrett, who has been a cornerback for most of his nine-year NFL career but switched to safety this season.

In a statement, the NFL said Smith was guilty of "a flagrant violation of player safety rules," adding that Boldin was in a "defenseless position at the time contact was made."

The play didn't draw a penalty during the game. Boldin was trying to catch a pass from Kurt Warner in the end zone when he was sandwiched by Kerry Rhodes from the back, who hit him first, and Smith, who hit him from the front. Boldin was knocked to the turf and was immobilized on a stretcher before being carted off the field.

Before the NFL took action, Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said of the play, "I think it's one of the hits that falls into the category of being dangerous to players. Certainly, I'm sure that the league is going to look at this and will address it."

Smith indicated Monday that he briefly lost consciousness after the play and couldn't remember the hit itself.

"Things are still a little fuzzy," said Smith, who said he intended to try to contact Boldin, who returned to Arizona on Sunday night after being examined at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for precautionary reasons. Boldin was resting at home Monday.

"Everybody was kind of telling me about (the hit) when we were in the locker room," Smith said before the suspension came down. "But to see something like that and see him have to get carted off the field, you never want to see something like that."

Smith had said he would wait to hear from the league before deciding whether to appeal any suspension or fine, and that no malice was intended.

Critics "just look at the end result, rather than everything that goes into the play," Smith said. "I'm coming to break up a pass and if I don't, it's going to be a touchdown. So, I'm going 100 percent and so is Kerry (Rhodes) from the backside. Sometimes, somebody gets hit, angles change and things like that happen. It's not like I was directly leading with the top of my head from what I saw on the film."

Earlier in the game, Smith made an interception to set up a Jets touchdown. It was his first pick since Dec. 31, 2006 against Oakland.

Smith said he didn't know if he received a concussion, and coach Eric Mangini was vague about a possible injury, as usual, dancing around a question of whether Smith had a concussion.

"He was a little groggy after the game," Mangini said of Smith. "He seemed a lot more alert here today.

"You never coach to go head-to-head," Mangini added. "That's something you never coach. Sometimes that stuff happens. You don't want to see it. ... Knowing (Smith) as a person, that's the last thing he'd ever want to do, is harm somebody like that."

In a statement, the Jets said, "we respect and support the League's emphasis on player safety. Knowing Eric, we are confident that he did not intend to injure Anquan Boldin. Anquan was hit from behind by another player that accelerated the collision with Eric. Our thoughts are with Anquan and we hope that he has a healthy recovery."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 30, 2008

C.J. Mosley Name: C.J. Mosley
#69
Position: DT
Age: 24
Experience: 4 years
College: Missouri
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