FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The New York Jets and Antonio Cromartie can exhale after a close call.
The cornerback has a sprained left knee after it was initially feared he potentially suffered a season-ending ligament tear. The Jets announced Monday that an MRI on Cromartie's knee was negative, and he has not been ruled out for the team's next game at Indianapolis next Monday night.
"Very relieved," coach Todd Bowles said.
Cromartie left midway through the second quarter of the Jets' season-opening 31-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. His knee buckled on a non-contact play — Cleveland's Johnny Manziel scrambled for 6 yards on the other side of the field.
Cromartie, back with New York after playing in Arizona last season, clutched his left knee as trainers came out to check on him. He needed help to the sideline and didn't put any weight on his left leg. He was later carted to the locker room with a towel draped over his head and Jets fans fearing he could be lost for the season.
Bowles was uncertain when Cromartie might return to the practice field or if he would be ready to play the Colts. But the Jets were able to avoid the worst-case scenario.
"I don't know how he's going to feel from day to day," Bowles said. "The doctors told me week-to-week. I haven't seen him run. Up until now, I'd say no (for the Colts game). If he starts running later in the week and is feeling better, there's a chance he'll play."
The Jets also announced that rookie linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin was released from the hospital after staying overnight for observation with a concussion after being carted off the field with his body strapped to a board.
Mauldin took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to thank Jets fans and his family and friends for their prayers, as well as Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan "for their awesome TLC." The third-round pick out of Louisville also offered an encouraging prognosis: "I will be perfectly fine," he wrote.
It was a scary scene at MetLife Stadium when Mauldin was injured in the fourth quarter on a play in which Manziel was sacked and Mauldin caused a fumble that Darrelle Revis recovered deep in Browns territory. Manziel rolled onto Mauldin, who stayed down for several moments right after the play.
The linebacker eventually stood and tried to take a step or two, but then immediately dropped to the turf, where he stayed face-down as trainers and medical staff rushed over to him. Mauldin's facemask was removed and he was strapped to a spinal board before being lifted onto a cart as the stadium fell completely silent.
The team announced a few hours later that tests confirmed that Mauldin had a concussion but no neck or spinal injuries.
"It was good to hear it wasn't as bad as everything was," Bowles said. "When you cart somebody off the field like that and they're not moving, immediately you think the worst. So to get that was good."
Bowles spoke to Mauldin about 10 minutes before the coach addressed the media Monday. Mauldin will go through the NFL's concussion protocol when he's ready to return to the team's facility.
"He's feeling a little better," Bowles said. "He's going to go home and rest. Has to wear glasses, have some shades on for a while and take it day by day."
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL