Published: January 20, 2011 2:38 a.m.
Last modified: January 20, 2011 2:41 a.m.
Just days after former Jets lineman Dennis Byrd walked into the team’s meeting room to share his inspirational story of overcoming a paralyzing injury suffered on the football field, safety Jim Leonhard walked into the Jets locker room for the first time in more than a month on his own strength. Leonhard, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in December, had been relegated to moving around in an electric scooter.
Now the Jets safety and the man considered the “quarterback of the secondary” scooted around the Jets locker room on his own two feet yesterday.
“Everything is looking good,” Leonhard told Metro. “X-Rays looked good. Everything is on track.”
This week is the first time that Leonhard, who moved with a slight limp, has walked around on his own two feet. The injury was a result of a collision with a practice squad player, shelving Leonhard right before the Week 13 showdown in New England. He voiced his frustration at not being able to help the team on the field for Sunday’s AFC championship game but plans on going to the game to support his teammates.
“I’m ready to play now,” Leonhard said. “I just don’t think the team’s trainers are ready for me to do that.”
Leonhard remains uncertain about being available for offseason training and conditioning but he said his goal is to be back on the field for next season.