Several times this afternoon, Danny Amendola declared he was "ready to go," but whether he'll be allowed to go back on the field this Sunday remains to be seen.
Following a severe concussion he sustained two weeks ago against New Orleans that left him literally wobbling when he got up, the veteran wide receiver sat out all of last week's practices, as well as the Jets game in New York. However, he practiced on a limited basis each day this week, and finally spoke to reporters on the record for the first time since that unfortunate incident.
Has he been one of those guys "flying around" in practice?
Amendola chuckled before responding, "I have. Had a good week and ready to go."
Yet another reporter asked directly if doctors had cleared Amendola to play this Sunday against Miami.
"Ah," he paused, searching for the safe answer, "feeling good and ready to go. I feel as good as I can. Not really worried about the past, just the future. I'm excited and looking forward to Sunday."
Ultimately, though, the decision will not be his.
"Yeah, it's frustrating," Amendola admitted. "They have protocols and you just have to follow along. You might feel good and ready to go, but the doctors might not let you go. I feel good now and am ready to go. I've done pretty much everything they've asked me to do. I'm healthy and I'm ready to play."
He explained that the concussion protocols involve both physical and mental tests performed by independent physicians. Amendola compared his situation to that of someone returning from a serious car accident.
The receiver also maintained the he remembered everything about the play that caused his concussion – a severe hit to the head delivered by Saints safety Rafael Bush. Amendola was diving for extra yardage on an end around when Bush came flying in and struck him helmet-to-helmet. Apparently knocked unconscious for a moment or two, Amendola eventually got up but needed the assistance of the team's medical staff to walk him to the locker room for treatment.
He's seen the footage of the play and its grizzly aftermath, but it didn't frighten him, he claimed.
"It's not going to scare me to play the way I play. I still have a job to do and I'm going to do it. No, I felt fine after the game. I had no symptoms. I felt normal, but I'm not a doctor. I just listened to them.
"I've had one concussion in the NFL prior to this. It was a long time ago. I feel good now. That's all that matters to me."
The final injury/practice participation report of the week will be released later this afternoon, and it will include game status information for every player listed, including Amendola. That will give us a better idea of whether or not he'll be allowed to suit up on Sunday at Gillette.
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