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Jets' Patterson denies going AWOL

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 28 2014 10:32:50 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 28 2014 10:52:37 AM CDT
closeup of football laces

iStock/joecicak

New York Jets cornerback Dmitri Patterson disputes the team's position regarding his absence from Friday's preseason game, during which the team said it could not reach the veteran and was unaware of his whereabouts.

"As it relates to my whereabouts and me missing for 48 hours without being seen or heard from me or my representative is completely false," Patterson said in a statement delivered to beat reporters via text message. "My agent reached out to the Jets organization multiple times several hours prior to Friday night's game. My commitment to the Jets organization and to my teammates has never been an issue and never will be an issue. As it relates to the rumors about my frustration in regards to the depth chart is totally and completely false. In nine years I have never had control over the depth chart."

General manager John Idzik said Friday the absence was unexcused and would be treated as such. On Sunday, head coach Rex Ryan announced Patterson was suspended for the preseason. He met with Patterson Sunday, and Ryan said Patterson could be reinstated Monday as the first week of regular-season preparation begins. That would assume Patterson survives the final cuts to a 53-man roster Saturday.

He was signed to a one-year, $3 million contract in the offseason but a slew of injuries -- including ankle and quadriceps strains -- kept him on the sideline for two weeks following a poor performance in the preseason opener. He was expected to play last week against the Giants before he was a no-show for the game.

Ryan said the team tried "every number, every way you can" to reach Patterson on Friday and the team was concerned about him. The question that stands is whether the team and management can trust Patterson.

"That's what we are going to try to decipher," Idzik said. "That's what you really want to get down to the bottom of it, when we say we are going to do what's best for the team. We always have the team in mind. We expect all of the members of our team (to) think that way. That's what we think is acting like a Jet. So that's what we will try to determine."

Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley told Newsday's Kimberley Martin that Patterson's actions sparked doubt in the locker room.

"It just kind of shows you that, for whatever reason, he doesn't care that much," Kerley said.

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