The aftermath of this season’s first meeting between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins is still being felt along the eastern seaboard. One star player is done for the season, and another star is calling the injury karma after having been knocked out of the game himself.
The star done for the season is obviously Jets corner back, Darrelle Revis, and the Dolphins running back, Reggie Bush, the one who is unapologetic, saying “What comes around, goes around.”
This might seem like a harsh sentiment coming from a guy who felt the scare of a season slipping away during the same game, but when you consider the talk leading up to, and following, the game, it is easy to understand Bush’s cold response to Revis’ injury.
Jets coach Rex Ryan led the verbal charge as usual, saying his defense wanted to put some “hot sauce” on Reggie, referencing a Bart Scott loud-mouth quote from when the two were with the Baltimore Ravens and preparing to see Bush on the field. It does not take much to understand that they meant to hit Bush hard and often.
It is easy to see why the Jets would focus on Bush. Before kickoff, he was the second leading rusher in the NFL, and if there was one person on the Dolphins roster who could singlehandedly break the Jets back, it would be Bush. So forming their game plan around stopping Bush makes sense.
The question is, and this is what has Bush feeling so indifferent about Revis, did the Jets game plan include trying to knock the Dolphins superstar out of the game?
Bush was injured on a simple run up the middle as time wound down in the first half. The replay shows the helmet of a Jets player coming into contact with his knee, and then Bush gets twisted under a pile. Plays like this happen all of the time, but what makes this play stand out is the way Jets safety LaRon Landry appeared to be celebrating as Bush lay on the ground grasping his knee.
To add to the conspiracy theory, there are the post game comments of line backer Calvin Pace, who said “we had to put him out.” Such a statement seems incredibly stupid, especially with the ramifications of the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal so prominently on display at the bottom of the NFC South.
Pace cleaned up his statement on Monday, trying to convince everyone he did not mean to insinuate that the Jets had a bounty of Bush. Of course, anyone in his position would be saying the same things, assuring the world that the Jets had no intentions of hurting anyone.
The league has already reviewed the play on which Bush was injured, and has declared the injury unintentional, but these are the same people who are telling the world that the replacement refs are doing “alright.”
Before Bush went out, he had already racked up 61 yards, and was well on his way to providing fantasy owners another stellar performance. Whether this was motivation enough to have the Jets defense come after Bush with intent, no one knows. What is known is that Bush suffered no structural damage to his knee, and could possibly be back on the field when his Dolphins face the red hot Arizona Cardinals this Sunday.
His feelings about Revis being forced to sit out the rest of 2012-13 may not sit well with all people, but his point is valid. The Jets were dishing it out. They put the negative energy out there, and it came back to hurt them. Even if they were not going into Sunday’s game with the intent to hurt Bush, making comments like they did is just asking for scrutiny and criticism.
It is antics like this that will always leave the Jets playing the little brother role to the big brother New York Giants, and I doubt it will change until Rex Ryan is gone.
In the meantime, Bush will have another chance to run all over Scott, Landry, and the rest of the Jets defense in just a few weeks. The Dolphins are scheduled to go to New York on October 28th, a day you can bet is circled on Reggie’s calendar.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.