Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Updated: January 20, 12:29 PM ET
Jason Taylor out; Brad Smith in
By Ohm Youngmisuk and Rich Cimini
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jason Taylor did not practice on Wednesday due to a concussion but he has been cleared by doctors to play in the AFC Championship Game, according to New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.
Taylor suffered the concussion sometime during the Jets' win over the Patriots and began to feel the effects of the injury sometime Sunday night.
"He's been cleared," Ryan said. "But he has passed the test so we are ready to roll."
The Jets held Taylor out of practice as a precaution.
The Jets face the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday for the AFC title at Heinz Field, a rematch of their Dec. 19 game -- a 22-17 Jets win. It will be another homecoming game for Taylor, who grew up in Pittsburgh.
Brad Smith, the Jets' multipurpose weapon who missed last week because of a groin injury, participated in practice. He practiced last week, too, albeit on a limited basis, but was declared inactive on Sunday.
Smith said after the Patriots game he expected to play against the Steelers, but he seemed to be running somewhat tentatively Wednesday in wide receiver drills. Without Smith, the Jets can't use their Wildcat package. He was replaced as a kickoff returner by Antonio Cromartie, who filled in nicely.
The Jets' practice had a Pittsburgh feel to it. The speakers alongside the field blasted the old Styx standard, "Renegade." That's a traditional favorite at Heinz Field, where the PA system blasts the hard-rocking tune to fire up the defense.
Wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who played in several games in Pittsburgh as a former member of the Cleveland Browns, warned his teammates during last month's game to raise their intensity when that song was blared.
"Usually, they scare a lot of teams with that gimmick," Edwards said after the game.
It didn't bother the Jets. They marched 66 yards, scoring on Mark Sanchez's 7-yard bootleg on fourth down.
"Our renegade drive," Edwards called it.
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants and Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.