Byrd honorary captain for the Jets
» Former New York Jets defensive lineman Dennis Byrd, whose recovery from a catastrophic neck injury has been an inspiration to his former team, was an honorary captain Sunday night. His presence yielded a boost last week before the Jets’ 28-21 victory at New England in a divisional-round playoff game. The Jets had no desire to change things with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake, so he accompanied the captains to midfield for the coin toss before the AFC Championship Game. Before the Patriots game, Byrd sent Jets coach Rex Ryan an inspirational note. Along with it, he sent the tattered No. 90 jersey that medical personnel cut from his body Nov. 29, 1992, when he was temporarily paralyzed.
» Jets safety Eric Smith was called for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter when he hit receiver Emmanuel Sanders in the head after an incomplete pass. The 15-yard penalty was negated four plays later when outside linebacker Bryan Thomas intercepted a fourth-and-1 pass.
» Before the game, the Jets released defensive back Isaiah Trufant and signed defensive tackle Martin Tevaseu from their practice squad. Expecting a heavy dose of the running game from the Steelers, the Jets wanted an extra defensive lineman in uniform.
» The Jets’ inactives included tight ends Matthew Mulligan and Jeff Cumberland, fullback John Conner, receiver Patrick Turner, defensive end Vernon Gholston and defensive tackles Marcus Dixon and Jarron Gilbert. Kellen Clemens was the third quarterback.
Steelers vs. Jets AFC Championship
The Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the New York Jets in the 2011 AFC Championship at Heinz Field, Sunday, January 23, 2011.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review pitt football reporter. You can contact Jerry at 412-320-7997, email@example.com or via Twitter .