Dimitri Patterson to return to Jets
Friday night, the Jets played the Giants in preseason action, but a player was mysteriously missing from not just the starting lineup, but the entire stadium. Jets cornerback Dimitri Patterson went AWOL and did not show up for the game and was not seen or heard from for 48 hours. No reason was given for his absence, and in an interview on Sunday, general manager John Idzik called Patterson’s absence “unexcused.” He returned to the team facility Sunday night.
On Sunday night, Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan met with Patterson, though no details of the meeting were openly discussed. Patterson himself attempted to do a bit of damage control when he texted ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Monday, writing, “Yes, I’m ok and I’m not going AWOL either. Comical.”
According to an ESPN report:
Idzik hinted that Patterson could be disciplined, but he declined to speculate on whether the absence would result in a fine or impact his standing on the team. Idzik said he needed to speak with Patterson before making that determination. He wanted to find out why the well-traveled veteran “would take such a drastic step.”
On Friday, Patterson attended all of the Jets pre-game routines including a walk-through, meetings, and even a pre-game meal. His disappearance was unexpected and strange.
The Jets are already very thin at cornerback after a rough training camp. Top corner Dee Milliner is a question mark for the season opener with a high ankle sprain. Antonio Allen suffered a concussion Friday night against the Giants and rookie Dexter McDougle suffered a knee injury in camp that prematurely ended his season before it had even began. Right now, their starting corners would be Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster, both career backups.
“Oh, shoot, you just go on,” HC Rex Ryan said about the situation. “You go about your business. You coach the guys that are here and the guys that are healthy. We won’t look back, regardless. We hope everything works out and he’s with us, but we’re going to be full-steam ahead and that’s the way we’ll handle our biz.”
Whether or not the Jets will suspend him or fine him is still up in the air. One thing is for sure, though. The Jets can’t afford to lose much more of their secondary. They’re already going to be limping into the regular season and they’ll need all the help they can get to stay competitive in the AFC.
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