Jets' Jalen Saunders out indefinitely

Updated: August 18, 2014, 5:22 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPN.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders was released Sunday morning from a local hospital and made an appearance on the sideline Monday during practice, but he won't play Friday night against the New York Giants and is out indefinitely after a mysterious, one-car accident last Friday morning.

[+] EnlargeJalen Saunders
AP PhotoJets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders is out indefinitely following a "medical event" related to his car accident.

Saunders "experienced a medical event" and drove off the road while making a left turn less than a mile from the Jets' facility, according to the police report. The Jets have remained tightlipped, with Rex Ryan declining to elaborate on Saunders' medical condition and whether there's long-term concern over his health.

"I think right now we're taking a cautious approach with him, which is a smart approach," Ryan said.

Ryan wouldn't speculate on whether Saunders, listed as their top punt returner, would return for the season opener.

"I think it's too early to say right now," he said. "Standing here, it's easy to say he'll play, but we don't know, really, how he's going to progress through this exercise and all that. The main thing is the health of our player, the health of Jalen."

Saunders, wearing his jersey, walked out to the practice field with the trainers. He did some light pedaling on a stationary bike, but he spent most of the practice on a golf cart, watching. The plan is to ease him back into a practice regimen. Saunders is scheduled to speak with reporters Tuesday or Wednesday.

The fourth-round pick from Oklahoma was on his way to the practice facility last Friday at 7:50 a.m. when the accident happened.

Saunders was in the left turning lane when he apparently lost control of the vehicle. He didn't make a full left turn and proceeded on an angle across Park Avenue in Florham Park, New Jersey, striking a curb, according to police. His vehicle, a 2014 Toyota Corolla, continued forward, leaving the roadway and stopping in high grass. The vehicle was towed to the Jets' facility.

Saunders was not given a drug or alcohol test at the scene, the police record said. There is no pending investigation; the case is closed, according to police. The Jets' initial statement on the accident made no mention of a "medical event," saying only that it was a one-car accident and that he was taken to a hospital for precautionary monitoring.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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