Scandal, pure speculation, and just something to mull over with your Monday morning coffee.
Is Vernon Gholston actually injured?
Over the past week or so, I have quietly been thinking this to myself. Only when I branched out and shared this idea did I realize that I was not alone in my superstition of the Jets franchise and the mysterious injury that Gholston acquired prior to the Jacksonville game.
If we think back to the Miami game (shudders), we will remember that Rex Ryan took a lot of heat post-performance for selecting Gholston ahead of a special teams player that maybe could've prevented one or both of the Ted Ginn touchdowns.
Prior to the game against Jacksonville, in talking with some Jaguars fans, I made the comment that I would not be surprised if some "injury" occurred to Gholston that would take the selection headache out of Ryan's hands.
The very next day we hear that Gholston had sustained a hamstring injury in a team "walk through," and that he was out for the game against Jacksonville.
Now let's look back on a comment that Rex made when he first took over as head coach of the New York Jets:
"If he can't do it for me and for this team, he's never going to do it."
Here we are in week 10 of the NFL season, and Gholston has 11 tackles, no sacks, no INT, and no FF, so if he hasn't been doing it for Rex, perhaps the "bust" label can be firmly applied and concluded. However, maybe Rex is not ready for that yet, but realizes that right now, Gholston's place on the team is hurting rather than helping the performance on Sunday.
However, Rex also understands that presenting Gholston as a healthy scratch pretty much seals that comment, admitting that he is not doing it for him and not doing it for the team, which in a backhanded way also admits that Gholston can't do it anywhere.
The simple solution is to present him as injured while we are still sniffing the playoffs. After the loss to the Patriots yesterday, with our playoff hopes down the drain, don't be surprised to see a miraculous recovery by Gholston next week.
The odd thing is when Gholston was playing and starting, he was actually starting to improve. However, once Calvin Pace returned to the lineup and Gholston was demoted to the bench, he again became invisible, much like the entire 2008 season.
However, if we are not ready to admit failure, then perhaps down the stretch, it's more beneficial to this team to have Gholston start in place of Bryan Thomas. After all, Thomas is hardly lighting the stat sheets up either: 20 tackles and one sack in nine starts, compared to Gholston's 11 tackles and no sacks in four starts.
If Vernon starts the other five games, I find it hard to believe, as disappointing as he has been, that he would not have accumulated similar, if not better, stats than Thomas.
So what do you think?
1) Is Vernon Gholston actually injured, or is it a face-saving move by the franchise?
2) Should we start Gholston in place of Thomas?
This article also appeared on Gang Green Nation