The New York Jets, who have two regulars holding out, an unsigned No. 1 draft choice and 18 players on injured reserve, on Wednesday ruled out one of the players they thought they might have for Sunday’s opener against the Raiders--defensive end Mark Gastineau.
Gastineau, the NFL leader in sacks for the last two seasons and an opponents’ favorite wherever he goes, suffered a broken right thumb in training camp two weeks ago.
Three pins were placed in it. Gastineau was still hoping to play. “I won’t allow it to hurt,” he told the New York Post.
Nevertheless, it did.
“One pin came out Monday,” Jet spokesman Frank Ramos said. “Because of the pain and throbbing, he stayed in the hospital Tuesday night and Wednesday. He’ll return today (Thursday).”
Jet Coach Joe Walton said that Gastineau would not be in uniform. If Gastineau does sit out, it will be the first game he has missed in his seven-year career.
The Jet holdouts are the starting offensive tackles, Marvin Powell and Reggie McElroy. The No. 1 draft choice is Wisconsin wide receiver Al Toon. . . . Jet nose tackle Joe Klecko, concluding his conference call interview: “Where’s that all-world defensive end, the one who picks ‘em up in the backfield and sorts them out until he comes to the ballcarrier? Howie Almighty, I think they call him. I think he changes in a phone booth, doesn’t he? He wears No. 75, doesn’t he? Oh, he’s in meetings? P-o-o-o-r guy.” Klecko and the Raiders’ Howie Long are old friends from Philadelphia.