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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie suffered a concussion in Sunday's 37-27 win over the Raiders, according to head coach Rex Ryan. The team originally said after the game that Cromartie had a head injury, but he will now be going through the concussion protocol.
"He felt better today, so I think that's a positive thing," Ryan said. "These things are different. It was explained to me that it's a real positive sign that he improved from that point right after the game. Hopefully that's a good sign."
Cromartie played 66 out of 69 snaps Sunday, and Ryan said he was not evaluated for a concussion during the game. Following the win, Cromartie said he had a headache, which led to the evaluation. Cromartie wasn't available to the media Sunday, and was not in the Jets' locker room Monday.
"He certainly wasn't forced out there," Ryan said. "If anyone would have know about it or whatever, there would have been some concerns."
The cause of the concussion is unknown at this point. In the third quarter, Cromartie collided with safety Ed Reed on a play that resulted in a 48-yard Oakland touchdown. Cromartie left the game briefly after the collision, but returned. Cromartie had one tackle and two passes defended.
"I didn't see Cro until the last second and I'm glad I jumped or else we'd have probably went helmet to helmet," Reed said after the game. "I was breaking on a ball, saw it, and when I realized [Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin had] overthrown the guy in front of me I saw Cro. Come to find out the guy scored on that play, it's crazy. Just glad we came out the win and Cro's all right and I'm all right."
Earlier this season, Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley suffered a concussion and too stayed in the game. In the opener against the Buccaneers, Kerley's helmet came off after a hard hit. He passed an in-game and postgame evaluation, but he showed symptoms the next day and was diagnosed with a concussion. Kerley missed the following game against New England, which came on a Thursday.
Cromartie is the Jets' top corner but is having a rough season as he's stepped into the void left by the traded Darrelle Revis. He's struggled in coverage, and has recently been dealing with a hip issue. He has three interceptions on the season, all in the Jets' last five games.
If Cromartie has to miss any time, it leaves the Jets thin at cornerback. Rookie first-round pick Dee Milliner starts opposite Cromartie, but he's been benched three times. Darrin Walls and Kyle Wilson would be the candidates to replace Cromartie. Wilson has primarily been serving as the nickel corner, while Walls replaced Milliner as the starter when the rookie missed three games earlier this year.