Jets’ Assistant Coach Greg Oden Hospitalized After Joint Practice Skirmish
New York Jets assistant coach Greg Oden was carted off the field and sent to the hospital Wednesday after collapsing during a joint practice altercation with players from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many players, including Jets cornerback Brandin Echols, quickly abandoned the dispute in order to call for medical attention.
The nature of Oden’s collapse is unclear, though it reportedly occurred as a result of the actions of a Jets player. Personnel on both sides of the field expressed concern as he was carted off, but Jets head coach Robert Saleh assured reporters that he was recovering well in the hospital after the incident.
“He’s doing fine,” Saleh said. “I’m not exactly sure what happened. I know it was during one of the altercations. I think he caught some friendly fire. He’s awake, he’s doing fine, he’s stable.”
The incident concerning Oden was one of many that occurred during a chaotic joint practice between New York and Tampa Bay. Longtime Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans described it as the most fight-filled joint practice he had ever seen, as it included multiple altercations throughout the day. Further details of the practice will likely become available in a future episode of Hard Knocks, as the HBO crew is filming the Jets this offseason for a behind-the-scenes look at the young team’s turnaround efforts.
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Because the Jets canceled their second joint practice with the Bucs, the teams only met once before their preseason game Saturday. New York and Tampa Bay are on opposite trajectories entering the 2023 season, as the former just acquired a franchise quarterback in Aaron Rodgers while the latter lost one in Tom Brady.
With a young core led by the likes of Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall and Quinnen Williams, New York is expected to reach the postseason with Rodgers at the helm. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, is expected to struggle without a surefire passer and a shaky offensive line.
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