If you want to see Josh Mauga running on the field this Sunday, you will need to run down to the store and pick up the new Madden video game.
Since his junior year at Nevada, the 2005 Fallon grad has been plagued with injuries, especially in the NFL, as he tries to recover from another setback. During preseason last month, the inside linebacker reinjured his back and missed all four of the New York Jets’ games, but he feels confident to be back on the field this month. The Jets placed Mauga on the injured reserve list on Sunday.
“During practice, it built up and I started to feel muscle tightness in my back and then it went down my glutes,” said Mauga, who had a similar injury during his final year with the Wolf Pack. “The next day, I went in and there was pain from my neck to my back. Something was wrong with one of my discs or muscle it seemed.”
An MRI revealed that Mauga had a disc hernia, which requires a strict recovery of rest for two weeks. He said he took it easy for two weeks but nothing improved, so Mauga now has to spend another two weeks doing nothing but rest.
“I was trying to do too much too quickly but it kept flaring up,” he said. “Now, I’m just doing treatments and icing. In a couple weeks, I should be good to go.”
Mauga’s been eying a comeback since season-ending surgery during the 2012 season when he was turning in his best performance since being signed by the Jets. The former Greenwave star has played only one full season, in 2011, after the Jets made it to the AFC championship game two years a in row, falling short to Pittsburgh and New England.
“It’s been pretty frustrating, especially since coming off surgery last year,” Mauga said. “I thought I could bounce back and play. This has been déjà vu all over again. I’m pretty upbeat about it, very optimistic. Hopefully, I can get back on the field before the season ends.”
If Mauga can return next month, he and the Jets will face playoff-caliber teams in Pittsburgh, Atlanta and New England. New York opens the season at home against Tampa Bay on Sunday.