With his “flinch” video in Washington going viral, New York Jets WR Terrelle Pryor, whose status is uncertain for Friday night, wants to set the record straight.
Terrell Pryor’s first viral highlight as a member of the New York Jets came against his former team, but not in the way he intended.
During last week’s joint practices with the Washington Redskins, a particularly contested play against Redskins safety Montae Nicholson ended with Pryor failing to make the catch, the ball stripped from him by Nicholson to force the incompletion.
While several of Nicholson’s fellow defenders mobbed him in celebration, fellow safety D.J. Swearinger taunted Pryor. When Pryor responded, Swearing feigned a punch, causing the former to flinch is defense.
— Mitch B. (@MitchBrownTV3) August 14, 2018
Combined with Pryor’s continued rehab from an ankle injury that derailed his 2017 season with Washington, which was slated to be a follow-up to his career-best year in Cleveland the season before with 1,007 yards and four touchdowns on 77 receptions, the video cast potentially unfair label on Pryor. The receiver has been labeled by Jets detractors, and even some fans of New York’s green team, to label Pryor as “soft.”
Speaking with Connor Hughes of The Athletic, Pryor set the record straight about his injury, one that kept him out of seven games entirely last season. Though Pryor injured the ankle during the Redskins’ Week 2 win over the Los Angeles Rams, he played seven more games before opting for season-ending surgery in November.
“Go watch Cleveland,” Pryor remarked to Hughes about his critics. “It’s a (dumb) thing to say. You don’t know football if you’re saying that. There are plenty of times I took hits over the middle. Two guys in the league had the ankle surgery I did. The only one well known is Brandon Marshall. He went on the injured reserve.”
To Pryor’s point, Marshall, now a member of the Seattle Seahawks, injured his ankle as a member of the New York Giants during Week 5 last season and was immediately placed on injured reserve in the ensuing days after the injury.
“Terrelle Pryor played six more games with the same injury. You tell me. Come on, man. I’m a grown man,” Pryor said. “(Stuff) happens. I’m playing six games with no ligaments in my inside. Damaged ligaments. My injury took all three.”
As for the flinch, Pryor addressed the incident on social media, in a message that was slightly tongue-in-cheek, his post containing the hashtag “#FlinchNRunGang.”
— Terrelle Pryor SR (@TerrellePryor) August 16, 2018
“It’s crucial for me to be a positive role model for the kids who came to training camp to watch us,” Pryor wrote. “My behavior here and during the season is bigger than proving some sort of point during practices.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Jets head coach Todd Bowles announced, per Eric Allen of Jets.con, that Pryor, as well as safety Marcus Maye and fellow receiver Quincy Enunwa would be game-time decisions for this Friday night’s preseason tilt against the New York Giants (7:30 p.m., ET, WCBS).