The New York Jets, like most teams, have been stung by the injury bug. Unlike other teams, the Jets can’t afford injuries to the few impact-players they have on the roster. Quinton Coples is out with a fractured ankle. Lex Hilliard is done for the season after breaking his scapula in practice. Joe McKnight is in-and-out of practice, this time, recovering from a head injury. Santonio Holmes is slow to return from the foot injury that’s sidelined him since the tilt against the 49ers early last season. It’s hard to reload when there are so few bullets left.
There is some good news! The acquisition of Kellen Winslow, Jr. seems to be working out well. If he can just stay healthy, he will impact this football team! The duo of Winslow and Jeff Cumberland should provide the starting QB with outlets over the middle, while an emerging Clyde Gates and focused Stephen Hill man the outsides. Jeremy Kerley doing his thing in the slot gives the Jets a decent passing attack!
Chris Ivory saw limited action against the Jaguars, but showed exactly why he was acquired on draft night. He’s powerful, fast and has good hands. Bilal Powell has taken full-advantage of Mike Goodsen’s absence and made himself an indispensable part of the running game. Tommy Bohanon has lined up all over the field, and will need to play big with Hilliard out for the season. If Bohanon can play all sixteen games, and impact both the run and pass game, he’ll be one more gem mined from the 2013 NFL Draft by first-year GM John Idzik.
Big things were expected from Quinton Coples, as he’s making the move from DE to OLB. This fracture and his indefinite return, put a damper on those plans. Demarion Davis will be expected to pick up the slack, and I anticipate he’ll do just fine. The key to this year’s defense will be Kendrick Ellis keeping Mo Wilkerson free to make those plays behind the line of scrimmage. Antonio Allen looks to be the second starter at safety, alongside Dawan Landry. David Harris can’t be the only LB making tackles in the middle of the field; this team can’t afford to have the safeties as their second and third leading tacklers, as they were last season.
Saving the best for last, Geno Smith and that gimpy ankle. The ankle sprain suffered against the Lions forced Geno to miss the game against the Jaguars, but he’s looked better since his “brutal” practice which featured four interceptions. If this trend continues, reports have Geno Smith making the start against the New York Giants. A good performance here, and who knows… maybe a start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be in his future. Either way, the start neither he, nor Mark Sanchez is looking forward too, is the fourth preseason game against the Eagles at MetLife. Something tells me, the QB that makes that start… won’t be the starter WEEK 1.
-Joseph Haas Editor, HCoftheNYJ.com
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