Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dustin Keller insists he's 'not an injury-prone player'


New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller hadn't missed a game or a practice until last season, the final year of his five-year rookie contract.

Now, he's wondering if he'll get a chance to prove that it wasn't a fluke. (photo: Billtacular, Flickr)

Keller missed half of the 2012 season with hamstring and ankle issues, and the Jets' offensive production suffered. Much of quarterback Mark Sanchez's success over the past few years has been due to Keller's consistency in the middle of the field, and his absence was more than noticeable.

So while Keller waits to see what the Jets have in store for the future, he's been very clear that his health will not be a lingering issue.

“The thing I wants teams to realize is that I played my first four years in the NFL without missing a single practice, let alone a game,” Keller recently told Brian Costello of the New York Post. “I’m not some injury-prone player that teams have to worry about. Both of my injuries were non-contact injuries, so they were just fluke incidents.

"I don’t think people realize that there is a 100-percent injury rate for players in the NFL, and my injuries were minor.”

In his first four years with the Jets, Keller averaged 640 yards and tallied 15 touchdowns. Keller’s most prolific campaign was 2011, when he amassed 65 receptions for more than 800 yards.

He told Costello that the team’s new offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, has reached out and told Keller he’d like to have him back this season, but both Keller and Mornhinweg will have to wait and see how general manager John Idzik and his crew proceeds.

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