Alijah Vera-Tucker Among 13 Jets Now in Danger of Missing Week 16

Alijah Vera-Tucker

Getty New York Jets left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker has tested positive for COVID-19.

With the extent that the NFL has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past couple of weeks, it felt like it was only a matter of time before the New York Jets had to overcome an outbreak of their own.

It appears that day is now here. Yesterday on December 20, Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press reported that the “Jets also had a COVID-19 outbreak this morning.”

Four new players joined Week 15 scratch Foley Fatukasi on the COVID/reserve — DE John Franklin-Myers, DT Tanzel Smart, WR Vyncint Smith and S Sharrod Neasman.

Just one day later, two more key names have been added to the growing list of positive tests.

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2 Rookies Listed in COVID Update

The NFL had 51 players test positive for COVID-19 on Monday, December 20, according to insider Tom Pelissero. Just one day later, Pelissero announced that 21 more players have tested positive.

The Kansas City Chiefs have been hit hardest by the virus but two Jets stars were included in today’s report, per fellow-NFL insider Field Yates.

“Others placed on the COVID-19 list today include Jets OT Alijah Vera-Tucker & CB Michael Carter, Chargers QB Chase Daniel and DE Joe Gaziano, Saints TE Juwan Johnson, Bears DE Bilal Nichols and Texans DT Jaleel Johnson,” he tweeted.

The popular rookies known as ‘AVT’ and ‘MC2’ bring the Gang Green total up to 13 after quarterback Mike White was finally activated off the COVID/reserve earlier today.

Below is the updated list:

  • WR Elijah Moore (also on injured reserve).
  • WR Jeff Smith.
  • WR Vyncint Smith.
  • OG Alijah Vera-Tucker.
  • DT Foley Fatukasi.
  • DT Tanzel Smart (practice squad).
  • DE John Franklin-Myers.
  • LB Hamsah Nasirildeen.
  • LB Noah Dawkins (practice squad).
  • CB Michael Carter II.
  • CB Lamar Jackson (practice squad).
  • S Sharrod Neasman.
  • ST Justin Hardee.

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Outbreak Piles on Top of Lost Season

Quite frankly, with all the injuries that head coach Robert Saleh and this franchise have had to endure in 2021, a COVID-19 outbreak is just the tip of the iceberg.

12 more players still find themselves on the injured/non-injured reserve meaning 25 players are currently unavailable to this coaching staff. We’ve joked that the Jets could make up a second roster with all their injuries in the past but 25 is literally 47.2% of a 53-man roster and that doesn’t even include safety Elijah Riley who could be sidelined after a serious concussion in Week 15.

Saleh was optimistic that Riley would return this season, adding: “Hopefully this week.”

Zach Wilson and the quarterback room remain unscathed from the virus as of now (knock on wood), but virtually every other positional group outside of tight end and running back is missing at least one or more of its contributors.

Diving deeper, this COVID-19 outbreak has currently impacted nine players from the active roster, six day-one starters, and four promising rookies on a 3-11 team — it doesn’t get much tougher than this.

And to think, Coach Saleh welcomed adversity this summer.


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