HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (Dec. 22, 2005) -- Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet said his career was over, one month after sustaining a season-ending concussion.
Chrebet spent 11 seasons with his hometown team after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Hofstra, but was plagued with head injuries the last few seasons. Though he was undersized at 5-foot-10, he quickly became a clutch possession receiver, working his way up the team record charts.
He ends his career with 580 receptions, second to Don Maynard's 627 on the team list. Chrebet made his first appearance at the Jets' facility Dec. 22 since he was hurt Nov. 6 against San Diego. His impromptu comments confirmed the expected.
"I'm not going to get back on the field. I think everybody's aware of that," Chrebet said. "But I'm just thankful and want to let the right people know I appreciate everything they've done for me."
On the play in which he got hurt, Chrebet was making a third-down catch for a first down, symbolic of the type of plays he made throughout his career. He stayed down on the field for several minutes, with a scary, glazed look in his eyes.
It was the latest in a series of problems for Chrebet. He had a post-traumatic migraine early in the 2003 season and missed the final eight games that season with postconcussion syndrome. He considered retiring, but instead came back last season. Chrebet played in all 16 games, but sustained a mild concussion in the regular-season finale against St. Louis.
"It's just a weird thing you don't want to accept," Chrebet said. "I've had a lot of time at home with my kids and that's been great. It's something I've always looked forward to. The rest is dealing with not having this in my life anymore."
Because of all he had to endure this season, teammates selected him as the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.