AWOL for nearly 48 hours, New York Jets cornerback Dimitri Patterson returned to the team’s facility Sunday night and met with Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik.
The team announced the meeting, but provided no additional comment.
Word of his anticipated return, leaked earlier by his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, came two hours after Idzik announced that Patterson didn’t show up for Friday night’s game and couldn’t be reached or located. Idzik termed it an “unexcused” absence, saying he still hadn’t talked to Patterson. The only thing the Jets knew was that he was safe and unharmed, Idzik said.
Rosenhaus declined to comment on the reason for Patterson’s disappearance.
This is a strange and mysterious twist for a team dealing with adversity at the cornerback position. Right now, their most experienced healthy corner is Kyle Wilson, who plays the slot. Patterson, too, is banged up, recovering from calf, ankle and quadriceps injuries.
Idzik hinted that Patterson could be disciplined, but he declined to speculate on whether the absence would result in a fine or impact his standing on the team. Idzik said he needed to speak with Patterson before making that determination. He wanted to find out why the well-traveled veteran “would take such a drastic step.”
On Friday, Patterson attended meetings, the walk through and the pre-game meal, but he never showed up at MetLife Stadium. Because of his injuries, he was questionable to play. At first, they thought he may have been stuck in traffic. Team officials spent the night trying to track him down, making numerous phone calls.
“Without putting an APB out, you’re trying everything you can,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “You’re trying all the numbers you have, you name it. … Obviously, as the game wore on, we still had a major concern.”
It wasn’t until Saturday that Idzik confirmed that Patterson was okay, but the team still didn’t know his whereabouts. The players were off Saturday. On Sunday, he didn’t show up for practice.
Idzik doesn’t believe it was a legal matter.
“Not to my knowledge,” he said. “We have a very cursory knowledge of what’s going on. That’s the extent of it. We know he’s okay and haven’t been able to communicate with him. That’s it in a nut shell.”
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