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New York Jets running back Joe McKnight (25) runs with the ball during training camp at SUNY Cortland. / Richard Barnes, USA TODAY Sports

Joe McKnight is not having a good training camp.

The New York Jets running back showed up out of shape and failed a conditioning test. He passed the test the next day, but eventually was hurt and has had trouble getting back on the field.

He failed to pay some traffic fines, was arrested, had his car impounded and had to shell out $320 to cover the tickets.

And Monday, believe it or not, things got worse.

McKnight collapsed on the field and had to be carted off in an oxygen mask.

Wait, that's not all.

While in the medical tent, he got into a Twitter scrap with someone he believed was a reporter who covered the team, asking if the "reporter" was outside, presumably so McKnight could step out of the tent and settle their beef.

Problem was, the Twitter critic was a fan, not a reporter.

A spokesman for the Jets confirmed McKnight sent the tweets, and that the running back believed he was being taunted by a member of the media.

But challenging fans to fights is nothing new for McKnight, apparently. Tweets from the same account challenged three Twitter critics to a brawl last week.

So, yeah, the circus is back in town at Jets camp under new general manager John Idzik.

Quarterback David Garrard, signed as an insurance policy for Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, needed insurance himself -- when his knees gave out and he had to retire before camp opened.

Running back Mike Goodson, Idzik's first big free-agent signing at three years and $6.9 million, was busted for drugs and a gun in the off-season and hasn't been in camp because he is dealing with those legal issues.

There is an epic battle for the quarterback job between Sanchez and Smith, but head coach Rex Ryan admits he's not always watching.

And, according to which reports you believe, receiver Santonio Holmes is either dogging it because he is saving himself for a new contract next season, or he desperately wants to return from a foot injury and help the Jets.

And now McKnight has become a tabloid headliner writer's fantasy.

A Monday recap: McKnight, recovering from a head injury and dealing with dehydration, dropped to the field during a drill.

As he was making his way to the field for the start of practice, he needed to drop to a knee three times and was examined by trainers. After pouring water over his head, McKnight was able to jog a few moments later and appeared OK.

Wearing a red no-contact jersey, he was participating in a drill 45 minutes into practice when he went down again after diving for a pass. Trainers rushed to him, then walked him to a medical tent behind the field.

McKnight remained on his right side as he was examined for several minutes. It appeared trainers were also checking his lower left leg before he was removed on a cart. He was wearing an oxygen mask as he walked gingerly on his own into the locker room while a trainer held the tank.

Then came the tweets, confirmed by the Jets but posted on an account not listed as McKnight's verified Twitter handle.

Although he appeared ready to fight someone Monday, he had only a verbal sparring session Sunday with the media. It went like this:

Q: How are you feeling?

McKnight: I'm not getting into that right now, but I feel good to be back out on the field.

Q: Do you know when you'll be cleared to be full go?

McKnight: Like I said, I'm not getting into that right now. I'm going to wait until the doctors tell me I'm cleared. It feels good to be back on the field.

Q: Has it been tough to be on the sideline, watching?

McKnight: It's been tough, but just happy to be on the field with my team.

Q: Do you regard today as a big step forward or just a small one? How encouraging was today?

McKnight: Like I said, I was just happy to be back on the field with my teammates.

Q: Did you go through a period of time when you felt out of it or woozy?

McKnight: I'm not getting into that right now.

Q: How did you get hurt?

McKnight: I'm not getting into that right now.

Q: Did you have to be cleared by an independent doctor to be out here?

McKnight: I'm not getting into that right now.

Q: Do you anticipate playing on Saturday?

McKnight: I'm not getting into that right now.

Q: What can you talk about?

McKnight: (Silence).

Q: When you're healthy, what do you feel like you can bring to this team, when you get back to 100%?

McKnight: I don't really know. I'll have to (wait) when I get back to 100%.

Q: You were arrested on the off day. What can you tell us about that?

McKnight: I'm not getting into that right now.

Q: Do you feel like you've lost anything missing this time? Were you able to go through classroom work?

McKnight: I'm just getting back in the flow of things. When the doctors clear me, I can get back into the flow of things.

Q: Joe, are you meeting with the medical staff daily?

McKnight: Yes.

About an hour after being escorted to the locker room Monday, McKnight walked to the field to watch the end of practice in a T-shirt and shorts while wearing dark sunglasses. McKnight was not available to the media, walking past reporters without comment, and the Jets had no further details on his condition.

"If the trainers thought he would be at risk, he would never be out there, ever," Ryan said. "For whatever reason, he stopped or whatever and that's fine. There's no chance any player would be on the field if the trainers or doctors felt that it wasn't safe for that person to be there."

All of McKnight's issues could put him on the bubble.

"We've got a long way to go before we make the final decisions and things," Ryan said. "But Joe has led the league in kick returns. He has plenty of talent, but durability, there is concern about durability."

Contributing: The Associated Press



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Jets' Joe McKnight wants to scrap with Twitter critic

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