AS HE PREPARED for this, his 11th NFL season, Wayne Chrebet knew that his career and perhaps his health were on borrowed time. In last year's regular-season finale the undersized (5'10", 188 pounds) receiver suffered at least his eighth concussion, and after not catching a pass in the postseason for the Jets he considered retiring. "Obviously, I am on thin ice," Chrebet, 32, told The New York Times after deciding to return.
Chrebet's bravery--or his denial, depending on how you see it--caught up with him on Sunday, when he suffered yet another concussion in the Jets' 31-26 loss to the Chargers. The team announced the next day that he would miss the rest of the season, and it's likely that Chrebet's career is over. Said quarterback Vinny Testaverde, "Absolutely I have a lot of concern that he will be O.K."
If Chrebet is done as a player, he went out in fitting fashion. He was injured when his head slammed into the turf after a play that was his specialty: a leaping, clutch catch on third down that gave the Jets a first down. "Wayne's at the point of his career," coach Herman Edwards said on Monday, "where he's going to take a long hard look at what he wants to do."
Chrebet missed nine games in 2003 with postconcussion syndrome.