Jets' C.J. Mosley explains 'tough decision' to opt out of 2020 season

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C.J. Mosley during OTA media availability
C.J. Mosley during OTA media availability

It may be crazy to Jets fans to think that C.J. Mosley is entering his third year with the team. And rightfully so since he’s only played two games with the green and white.

After injuries derailed his 2019 campaign, Mosley decided to opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. For the first time since that decision, he explained why he made it.

“It was a tough decision,” he told reporters on Thursday. “I was talking it over with my family multiple times. I talked to my brother. I talked to Coach [Adam] Gase at the time. I talked to other coaches. We even had a psychiatrist on staff with us that was with Coach Gase. I had multiple talks with her, so it was just the best decision for me and my family. That’s what it ultimately came down to.

“I just felt it was the best thing for me to do.”

At the time, Mosely was still rehabbing his way back from groin and core injuries that plagued him from stepping back on the field two seasons ago.

“2019 was tough. I was having one of the best games of my career at that point then to have the injury and busted my butt to get back on the field,” he said. “Then, I reinjure myself in the Patriots game so I was pretty much playing on one leg until I got taken out.

“When COVID first hit, I was here at the facility doing my rehab. Once I opted out, I just went back to Alabama and finished my rehab there.”

During last season, Mosley made sure to stay in contact with his linebackers room, including the coaches, to make sure they knew he was still there. But ultimately, being a defensive captain in 2019 and a leader in the locker room, it was extremely tough for him not to be with his Jets teammates.

“It was definitely tough. Being looked at as one of the leaders on the team, one of the veterans on the team, it was tough to make that decision. … I stayed in touch with the linebacker room, I stayed in touch with the linebacker coaches at the time. It was no hard feelings as far as our room went. That made me feel a little more comfortable,” he said.

But Mosley is back now, with his new head coach Robert Saleh saying he doesn’t see any rust from the Pro Bowler thus far. And Mosley won’t be pressing too hard on himself to make up for the last two seasons either.

He’ll come into training camp and the regular season ready to earn his spot at middle linebacker, and more importantly, do whatever his team needs to win games.

“I don’t feel too much pressure,” he said. “I’m a football player, that’s what I’ve done my whole life. So I’m going to steal the Stephen Curry quote: ‘I don’t have a lot to prove. I got a lot to accomplish.’ So that’s how I feel coming into this season.”