Jets Announce 2 Injury Absences vs Seahawks

Jeff Smith

Getty New York Jets wide receiver Jeff Smith will be unavailable versus the Seattle Seahawks.

The New York Jets have a long list of players that are done for the season — especially on the offensive line — but since Week 16, they look pretty healthy as they head into Seattle to play the Seahawks in a do-or-die scenario.

Head coach Robert Saleh went through his injuries on Friday morning (Dec. 30), and there were only two names that he felt the need to even mention. Those players were cornerback Brandin Echols (quad) and wide receiver Jeff Smith (knee), who have both been ruled out in Week 17 officially.

Jets Get Lamarcus Joyner & Denzel Mims Back vs Seahawks

One returnee will be veteran safety Lamarcus Joyner, who missed the past two games with a hip injury. “He’s an explosive player back there [in the secondary],” Saleh told reporters on Joyner. “He’s hair-trigger in the sense that he’s 99% right when he does trigger. So when that ball is snapped, post-snap he’s as good as anybody.”

The Jets HC also pointed out that Joyner and Jordan Whitehead have gotten much better as a pairing as the season has gone on, and he credited a lot of that to their communication.

Wide receiver Denzel Mims will return as well, after a concussion kept him out of Week 17 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although the former second-round pick has been relegated to a reserve role once again, he’s shown a lot of improvement as a playmaker and a run-blocker when called upon in 2022.

As for wildcat quarterback Chris Streveler, and whether or not he could be elevated one last time in Seattle, Saleh chose not to reveal too much in his response.

“We’ll see,” the head coach responded, “[Streveler] is another one with roster limitations and guys coming back from injury that we’re not quite sure [about] yet.”

Of course, the big injury to watch will be Mike White. The backup turned starter will begin the game after two weeks on the sideline with fractured ribs. With the way this NYJ blocking unit has been playing the last month or so, let’s hope he finishes it as well.

Guard Nate Herbig (ankle) and defensive end Vinny Curry (elbow) did show up as “questionable” on the final injury report later in the afternoon on December 30.

Seahawks Injury Report in Week 17

The Seahawks list of ailments is much longer than the Jets. The following players missed practice on Thursday and are in doubt for this weekend:

  • Travis Homer, RB (ankle).
  • Marquise Goodwin, WR (shoulder/wrist).
  • Ryan Neal, S (knee).
  • Al Woods, DT (Achilles). Woods logged a full practice on Wednesday.
  • Gabe Jackson, G (knee/NIR-resting player). Should play based on status.

The next group was limited in practice on Thursday:

  • Kenneth Walker, RB (ankle). Expected to play.
  • Tyler Lockett, WR (hand).
  • Noah Fant, TE (knee).
  • DeeJay Dallas, RB (ankle).
  • Bruce Irvin, OLB (knee/heel).
  • Darrell Taylor, OLB (shoulder).

Obviously, big offensive weapons like Walker, Lockett and Fant will be players to watch and not long after on Friday afternoon, NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo followed up with a tweet reporting that Lockett is expected to play on Sunday despite an official “questionable” tag.

Along with Lockett — Walker, Homer, Neal, Woods and late addition Abraham Lucas (OT, knee) were all eventually deemed “questionable” for Week 17, while Goodwin was downgraded to “doubtful.” The rest — including Jackson and Fant — appear to be good to go on Sunday.

Jets Wanted December Football, They Got It

Ever since general manager Joe Douglas was hired, we’ve been hearing about how the Jets franchise wants to get to a point where they’re playing meaningful games in December. Well, the holiday month has come and gone for Gang Green and the results have been ugly.

The Jets went a perfect 0-4 in December this season and Saleh is now 1-7 in this month during his two campaigns as NYJ head coach.

“It’s not about the playoffs [right now],” Saleh reiterated on December 30, “it’s about getting up off the mat [after] a rough December. Luckily, we get a new month — the [Seahawks] game is happening in January so take a deep breath, get off the mat and get ready to fight.”

Very fortunate indeed. In past seasons, the Jets would have already been eliminated from the postseason heading into Week 17 — with one less game and only six playoff spots in each conference. Now 14 teams make it to the big dance and Gang Green has two January games to strut their stuff.

For the record, the Jets lost both January games last season despite a hard-fought loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In order to make the playoffs, they’ll have to win both in 2022.

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