For banged-up Jets, ‘whoever’s got a pulse’ is up next
FLORHAM PARK » Wanted: Healthy bodies who can catch a pass.
Or throw a block. Or last an entire game.
That’s the state of things with the Jets right now, and it seems to get worse by the day.
A day after acknowledging that wide receiver Breshad Perriman likely won’t play in either of the next two games because of an ankle injury, coach Adam Gase said Thursday it appears Jamison Crowder won’t be ready to go at Indianapolis on Sunday.
“You can common sense it if you want,” Gase said. “I’m just not going to close the door on him if, for some reason, he feels like he’s feeling a lot better in the next few days. But, I mean, I’d say it’s doubtful.”
Meanwhile, second-round pick DenzelMims (hamstring) is still on injured reserve, as areVyncint Smith (core muscle) and Jeff Smith (knee). Oh, and Chris Hogan (rib) was expected to be limited at practice for the second straight day.
That leaves Braxton Berrios and Josh Malone as the team’s only fully healthy wide receivers. Undrafted rookie Lawrence Cager is an option to be elevated from the practice squad after flashing at times in training camp.
“His development is going to have to quicken up, I guess,” Gase said of Cager. “I mean, we’re down to whoever’s available, whoever’s got a pulse right now, we’re ready to go.”
The Jets also have D.J. Montgomery and Jaleel Scott on the practice squad.
Maybe Hines Ward, the team’s wide receivers coach who hasn’t played since 2011, still has a catch or two in him.
But wait, there’s more. Starting right tackle George Fant suffered a concussion when he collided with a teammate in practice Wednesday — coincidentally after defensive players suggested that
the team’s preparation during the first two weeks was too slow — and might not be cleared in time to play the Colts. Chuma Edoga would start in his place if Fant can’t go.
Center Connor McGovern has a strained groin, which occurred during the loss to San Francisco. Hewas sitting out a second straight day, and would be replaced by Josh Andrews if he can’t play at Indy.
“He’s a veteran player and he can get a lot of work done just with his eyes and be able to apply it without actually going through a lot of practice reps,” Gase said of McGovern. “So, really tome, it’s about hismovement skills, where’s he at on that. He might have to be an emergency guy. We’ve just got to kind of see howthis all plays out.”
The list goes on: cornerback QuincyWilson has a concussion and rookie safety Ashtyn Davis (groin) weren’t practicing. Running back Kalen Ballage (rib), left tackle Mekhi Becton (shoulder), running back La’Mical Perine (ankle) and cornerback Nate Hairston (hip) were all expected
to be limited. Star running backLe’VeonBell remains oninjured reserve with a hamstring injury.
“If I would look at it as we’re the only team going through this, it’d be one thing, but when you look around the league you’re seeing guys going down left and right, whether it be in practice or games,” Gase said.
“And we’re having soft tissue things happen to us. It seems like some other guys have gone through like major, season-ending type injuries. You’re just hoping that this is one of those things of we’re either not hardened up enough, just because we’ve played two games and didn’t have a preseason. Maybe that’s part of the reason why, I’m not really sure.”
Gase said the training staff is gathering all the information it can to focus on preventing future soft tissue injuries.
“Right now, it just seems like we’re having one every week or we’re having a couple in a game,” Gase said. “So, we’re going to keep working to try to find the answer to it.”
Jets running back Frank Gore is tackled by a host of 49ers players during last week’s game.