The New York Jets are 0-1 after a 19-14 season-opening loss to the Carolina Panthers.
If that wasn’t bad enough the green and white are now dealing with another potentially season-ending injury to a key cog on the defensive side of the ball.
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Tough Injury Blow for the Gang Green Defense
He originally exited the Week 1 game vs the Panthers with an elbow injury and “pending further tests” it appears very likely this injury will “knock him out for the  season.”
This is another brutal injury for a Gang Green defense that can’t seem to catch a break.
They lost their prized free-agent pass rusher, Carl Lawson, to a season-ending ruptured Achilles. Then the guy who was likely going to step up in his place, Vinny Curry, had a blood issue that prevented physical contact for the foreseeable future which ruled him out for the season.
That’s on top of other injuries that have ruled out several defenders for several weeks including linebacker Jarrad Davis (out until at least Week 6) who was hurt during the preseason.
What’s Next for the Jets?
On the roster here are the safeties that are healthy:
Although with Joyner now heading to injured reserve, the team will likely make a corresponding roster move that includes bringing up some bodies from the 16-man practice squad.
These are hardly ideal times for the Jets who are in desperation mode as we head into Week 2 of a 17 week expanded regular season. Injuries are a part of the game, but it just feels like the Jets are snake-bitten in this regard.
One other direction the Jets could go and this seems unlikely, but desperate times often call for desperate measures, is converting a player back to his natural position.
During the offseason, the Jets and their coaching staff had chances to add natural linebackers to their defense but opted against it. Instead during the 2021 NFL draft, Robert Saleh chased traits instead of a proven track record.
That ultimately led this coaching staff to Hamsah Nasirildeen out of Florida State and Jamien Sherwood out of Auburn. Both players were safeties in college but converted to linebackers in the Jets’ 4-3 scheme.
Sherwood got banged up during the Week 1 contest vs the Panthers, so his status is uncertain but either player could in theory jump back to safety for a short-term fix.
None of these potential solutions are great for the Jets, but they’re in a real bind at the beginning of their 2021 campaign.