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Monday, August 4, 2014
Calvin Pryor not ruled out of opener

By Rich Cimini
ESPN.com

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Nine days after suffering a concussion, New York Jets rookie safety Calvin Pryor was cleared by doctors Monday and returned to practice.

Afterward, the Jets confirmed that Pryor passed the necessary tests, allowing him to participate in contact drills. The first-round pick had been limited to light, non-contact drills in recent days.

Calvin Pryor
Jets rookie safety Calvin Pryor returned to practice on Monday after suffering a concussion nine days ago. Rex Ryan did not rule Pryor out for the preseason opener Thursday night.

Coach Rex Ryan didn't rule out Pryor for the preseason opener Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts.

"If he's cleared and he feels good, and he's not at risk, we'll throw him out there some," Ryan said. "It might not be with the (starters), but he needs to get work. As soon as he's ready to go, we'll put him out there."

The Jets are counting on Pryor, drafted 18th overall, to be a major contributor, possibly a starter in their rebuilt secondary. Ryan calls him an "enforcer," once comparing him to the late Jack Tatum.

But, on the third day of training camp, Pryor collided with a teammate in a special-teams drill, suffering a concussion. He claimed he won't let it affect his hard-hitting style.

"Not at all," the former Louisville standout said.

But asked if he misses hitting, Pryor said with a laugh, "Right now, not at all. I took a shot from hitting.

"I'm still going to be aggressive, play football like I know how to play football," he added.

Pryor actually began practice in a red, no-contact jersey. On a side field, under the supervision of two members of the training staff, he repeatedly hit a blocking sled with his shoulder. He apparently suffered no ill effects from the contact.

"I wasn't having any symptoms today," said Pryor, who had been complaining of bad headaches and sleeplessness. "I did a little evaluation on the side, with a little contact, myself and (head trainer) John Mellody. He cleared me to go."

Pryor acknowledged he felt "a little rusty," the result of five missed practices and an intrasquad scrimmage. Before the injury, he was used in a three-safety rotation with Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen. When he returned Monday, he worked with the third team. He won't stay there for long.