It’s been a rough couple of days for the New York Jets.
They have dealt with an array of key injuries to their defense with EDGE rusher Carl Lawson being ruled out for the season and linebacker Jarrad Davis being out until around Week 6 of the 2021 season.
In the wise words of Pete Campbell from the critically acclaimed television series Mad Men, “not great, Bob!”
Although things took a turn for the better after Tuesday’s joint practice between the Jets and the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.
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Players Are Coming Back in Droves
Jets head coach Robert Saleh spoke to the media following practice and had glowing things to say about several key cogs returning:
“You know it was kind of like Christmas. We got a few guys back: Elijah Moore, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and Quinnen Williams got more reps. It was really good to get those guys back into the fold. Also, Jason Pinnock returned so finally we are getting some healthy bodies back.”
This was the first time the former Ole Miss stud was back at practice since his quad injury ahead of the preseason opener vs the New York Giants.
Not only did he dress for practice but he participated in team drills. Saleh wouldn’t commit to him or AVT playing in the preseason finale but was encouraged by what he saw.
When Moore spoke to the media he said the plan was for him to get some reps against the Eagles. If that comes to fruition it’ll be the first time we have seen him and fellow rookie quarterback Zach Wilson on the field at the same time this preseason.
Alijah Vera-Tucker has been working some individual drills on the side, but Tuesday was the first time he was fully back in team drills.
Some Other Not so Great News
It wasn’t all peaches and rainbows for the Jets as they’re still dealing with a few injuries that are worth monitoring.
Offensive tackle Mekhi Becton got knicked up with a head injury after a head-to-head contact collision during practice. He appeared a bit discombobulated and he ended up puking up his lunch on the practice field.
This led to some reporters continuing to ask about his weight concerns and conditioning and Saleh quickly shut all that down:
Saleh also isn’t concerned with veteran safety Lamarcus Joyner remaining out of practice due to injury. He has been MIA since last week and Saleh said, “he’ll be fine” they’re hoping he can return next week for the beginning preparation of Carolina Panthers week.
Denzel Mims got banged up during joint practices with the Green Bay Packers and the coaching staff is hopeful “they’ll get him back next week.”
With some of the injuries on the defensive line, it’s understandable that a lot of fans are on edge. Sheldon Rankins also got hurt, but the coaching staff is being super cautious because they can afford to be.
Saleh said, “if this were a regular-season game, I promise you [Rankins] would be playing.” Which is incredibly encouraging news on that front.
One thing that is still unknown is cornerback Brandin Echols. He “landed on his hip” during practice on Tuesday and the team is still evaluating him.