Jets players ready to help Sheldon Richardson

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. –- If Sheldon Richardson needs help, a few of his teammates said they are ready to surround the defensive end with support.

A day after news emerged that the suspended Richardson had been charged with resisting arrest after a July 14 incident in which police say he was driving in a high-speed road race near his home in St. Louis, a couple of teammates said they are concerned about Richardson.

“I think we were all shocked by it,” guard Willie Colon said. “But we are here for Sheldon. Sheldon is our brother. We are more worried about Sheldon the man than the football player. We know he is an amazing football player, but the man is what we care about.”

Echoing the sentiment expressed by head coach Todd Bowles, a couple of Jets players said they are prepared to help Richardson.

“We used to talk a lot when he was a rookie,” nose tackle Damon Harrison said. “I definitely plan on being around more and communicating with him more because he needs our help. We can’t turn our back on him right now. He needs us.”

The Jets already were dealing with the fact that they will be without Richardson for the first four games due to violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

But now the team is unsure about Richardson’s future with the news of the defensive end’s run-in with the law. The team was blindsided by the news when it emerged late Thursday afternoon.

“A lot of the guys that have been in this league on and off, we have all done things where we wake up the next morning and what did I do and why did I do that,” Colon said. “It is a sense of maturity. We all have to grow up.

“I’ve had to grow up and be mature in a lot of aspects,” Colon continued. “He has to do the same. I’m more worried about Sheldon off the field, being there for him, being a brother by his side and make sure that he doesn’t feel like he is out here by himself and everybody is attacking him. If he does need a place to hang out, he can hang out with me. I can’t cook but I make a mean bowl of cereal.”

Harrison said the players still believe Richardson and his vow to stay out of trouble.

“Because that is our brother,” Harrison said when asked if the team trusts Richardson and if he has to build that trust back. “Anytime your brother tells you something, you want to believe him. We are here. You have no choice but to believe him. Like you said, he may have to build the trust back with some people on an individual basis, but that comes with time. That is not something that will happen overnight.”