Jay Ajayi is practicing again this week after clearing the concussion protocol that kept him sidelined for nearly two weeks. Ajayi spoke with the media Tuesday to talk about what it was like, and how he’s feeling now.
The Miami Dolphins have had to deal with a ton of injuries since the start of training camp. As it stands, Miami now has three players lost for the season due to season-ending injuries. Thankfully, the Dolphins got one player back to practice this week after lead back Jay Ajayi cleared the concussion protocol.
Ajayi was diagnosed with a concussion after taking a hit from teammate T.J. McDonald in practice on July 31st. Ajayi’s return brings a sigh of relief to Dolphins fans, but unfortunately, it was met with another setback for the team. Just as Ajayi came out of the concussion protocol, Kenyan Drake went on it, and is now going through the procedure. If you are under the impression that this team can’t catch a break, you would be correct.
It’s nice to have Ajayi back, however. He is expected to have another huge role this coming season, and the Dolphins can ill afford losing him. Ajayi spoke with the media on Tuesday to discuss what is concussion felt like, and how he feels now that he has returned.
Ajayi has a history with injuries, but his concussion was the first that he’s ever experienced. He says that it has been frustrating for him that he can’t go 100 percent, but admits that he’s happy that this happened during the preseason instead of the regular season. Fans and those within the organization would agree.
Ajayi also talked about what he told Drake to expect while he’s in protocol, and what it’s like having a new quarterback in Jay Cutler. Ajayi says he is unsure as to whether or not he will play in Miami’s second preseason game on Thursday against Baltimore, claiming that it is up to head coach Adam Gase. Ajayi’s full transcript from Tuesday can be found below, and is courtesy of MiamiDolphins.com.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Running Back Jay Ajayi
(Head Coach Adam Gase said he thought it was your first concussion ever. Is that correct?) – “Yes, my first concussion.”
(How did you react to it?) – “It’s new for me. I was just all about getting the information and then just making sure that I was healthy enough to get back on the field.”
(How long did it take you before you started to feel somewhat normal after that?) – “They said that, usually, concussions (take) 7 to 10 days (to recover from), so (after) about a week I was starting to feel like myself again.”
(How frustrating was it not to be able to go 100 percent, especially during camp?) – “It’s frustrating. You want to be out there with your teammates, practicing and grinding. It’s the time we’re all working on our craft to be better; but at the same time, it is better that it happened now during the preseason. We’re not at the regular season yet, so I had time to just make sure I was healthy enough to be back out on the field again.”
(Do you have any indication about playing in the preseason game on Thursday?) – “No indication right now; but I’m healthy, I’m good to go. I’ve been practicing, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I played on Thursday.”
(Do you feel like you’re behind a little bit?) – “No, I don’t feel like I’m behind at all.”
(Did you talk to S T.J. McDonald about the hit?) – “Oh yes, I mean that’s my boy. I’ve known him for a good amount of time. It was just practice. He’s a great, great tackler and he got me on a good tackle.”
(Do you worry about this moving forward? Has this ever happened to you?) – “No, I’m not worried about it.”
(What was the worst part about it all? Touch on maybe the worst symptoms you felt during this time off.) – “Just kind of the fog that you get, not being able to concentrate, those kinds of things that happen with concussions, so that was the most frustrating thing is that some days I would feel good and then maybe the symptoms would come back. So it was about just taking your time, being patient, going through the protocol, listening to the trainers, and now I’m back on the field. I’m happy.”
(Did you tell RB Kenyan Drake what to expect, because obviously he’s going through it now?) – “Yes, he just got put into the protocol I think. But I talked to him. He’s in good spirits. I guess he kind of saw what I went through so he should be encouraged by it. It won’t be too bad.”
(Are you playing Thursday and if not, are you upset that you’re not going to be able to play?) – “That’s (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase’s decision. I don’t know yet as of right now. I would be excited to play, get out there with my team, and get to go against someone else this preseason.”
(Do you guys get excited about playing in preseason games? I know it’s just preseason but it’s a chance to go against somebody else.) – “It’s great to not have to go against your own teammates every day. Obviously it’s in preparation for the regular season, so we need to get that nice little warm up, tune up for that regular season. I think getting a good series here, a good quarter here, and being able to stay healthy in the process is good for us.”
(How do you like having a quarterback with the same first name?) – “It’s been interesting. A lot of ‘Jays’ being called around (here) and we’re both looking trying to decide who’s talking to who; but it’s exciting to have him on our team.”
(What are your early impressions of QB Jay Cutler?) – “It’s been good. I’ve just gone out to practice the past two days. Being able to be in the huddle with him, it’s been really good. We’re just all working on executing and building that chemistry, just because we have so much time left until the regular season.”
(Can you talk about QB Jay Cutler’s familiarity with pass-catching backs? Does that excite you a bit?) – “Just his familiarity with (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase, in general, knowing that it’s not going to be too big for him because he’s already been in this offense multiple times. So for me, it’s just knowing that he’s comfortable in this offense and knows how to make it work and then everything is on us, the skill players, to create big plays for him.”
(Is there anything about QB Jay Cutler’s skillset or his personality, either way, that you didn’t expect that you have met him now and you found about him?) – “It’s my first time actually meeting him. I wasn’t familiar with him before. He’s a great guy, (he’s got) a really cool demeanor about him. You can tell he’s a natural quarterback and it’s been really good to build our relationship, build that chemistry on the practice field.”