Tight end Mychal Rivera said Monday night that he met with a neurologist and passed all the tests required by the league for those that suffer a concussion, as Rivera did against the Tennessee Titans.
As a result, he said he expects to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday. He was limited at practice Monday night.
“Feeling good,” Rivera said in his first public comments since he got drilled in the head by Titans safety Michael Griffin on Sunday. “Just took a shot right there to the head.”
The league suspended Griffin for one game as a repeat offender of its rule that prohibits blows to the head and neck area. Griffin sent out a Tweet apologizing to Rivera. That’s not all.
“Michael Griffin sent me a text,” Rivera said. “He said the hit wasn’t malicious. He was just doing his job. I really respected that from him. I hit him back and told him I respected he was just doing his job and I said we’d see each other again in the future.”
The hit was so vicious that it sent Rivera’s helmet flying, with Rivera’s head hitting the ground and the ball being jarred loose. Griffin got flagged for a personal foul on the play.
Rivera exited the game and headed to the locker room. He returned a short time later.
“Basically they pulled me out of the games for safety precautions,” Rivera said. “Went home and felt good, normal. Woke up this morning feeling normal. Saw the neurologist today, talked to a lot of doctors and they fully cleared me.”
– Running back Darren McFadden said his injured hamstring felt good enough for him to play against the Titans. However, he opted to play it safe in light of aggravating the injury once already.
“I could have been back last week but I just have to take my time with it,” McFadden said. “I don’t want to, I know if I rush it back again, this time it will probably be over for the season. So I want to just be able to make sure it’s all the way back right before I get out there again.”
McFadden said he’s hopeful of being able to play Thursday. He’s more frustrated by missing time than he is being criticized for inability to remain healthy.
“I’ve dealt with so much criticism for so long I’ve always just, you just have to turn your face to it,” McFadden said. “You can’t pay attention to it. You have to stay positive and focus on the task at hand.”
He also said that He admitted that his penchant for getting injured gnaws at him all the time.
“Man, there’s always something,” McFadden said. “It’s just like maybe something small, like an ankle or hamstring, turf toe or just something. But you just try to stay positive and just keep working hard and keep moving forward.”
– Kicker Sebastian Janikowski downplayed the prospect of there being an issue between he and holder Marquette King.
“There’s no issue at all,” Janikowski said. “During the game, I just pushed it.”
The two “pushed” kicks came on field-goal attempts from 32 and 48 yards in a 23-19 loss to the Titans. He now has missed 7 of his 22 field-goal attempts this season, when he missed only 7 of 69 the past two seasons combined.
At one point during the game, sideline reporter Lincoln Kennedy said Janikowski told him that there was a problem with King’s hold on the miss from 48 yards.
When asked about that Monday night, Janikowski said: “You’ll have to talk to Marquette or the head coach about that.”
Allen said it’s incumbent upon the 11 players on the field-goal unit to do their jobs. King wasn’t available for comment.
Janikowski said he watched 2 1/2 hours of film of his kicks from last season and this season in hopes of rediscovering his groove.
To that end, he said he learned that his step is too wide, his plant foot is too far forward and he isn’t “finishing” his kicks.
He is eager to get back on the field so that he can put to use what he gleaned from watching video.
“I wish I could play today, yeah,” Janikowski said. “I want to go out there and play Dallas right now. I want to redeem myself a little bit.”