Head coach Robert Saleh began his December 7 press conference by revealing the issue. The video stream starts slightly late with the Jets boss listing players by name, but Associated Press media member Dennis Waszak Jr. filled in the gaps on Twitter.
“Saleh says a flu bug has hit the Jets,” Waszak informed. “A few players will not practice today, including RT George Fant, CB DJ Reed, WR Corey Davis and DL Micheal Clemons.”
Jets Catch ‘Flu Bug’ Ahead of Bills Rematch in Week 14
Any sort of outbreak or sickness inside of a locker room is never a good thing ahead of a key game. The Jets had a COVID-19 situation like this in 2021 and several members of the roster ended up missing the following outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This time, it’s the flu, and you pray it’s not a severe strand of the virus.
It’s still early, so the names listed today might actually have a decent chance of playing on Sunday, but any spread of this contagion into Thursday or Friday could certainly cause absences as the Jets fly north to Buffalo.
The current impact is three integral starters (Fant, Reed, Davis) and one rotational piece in Clemons. Fant is especially essential this week after the news that rookie right tackle Max Mitchell will miss the remainder of the season with a mysterious ailment. With Cedric Ogbuehi placed on the injured reserve, veteran Mike Remmers will backup Fant.
Of course, Reed and Davis are both irreplaceable in their own right. The wide receiver acts as a clutch safety net in the passing game but he’s even more useful as a run-blocker. When Davis is on the field, the ground results get a major boost — it’s been proven factually.
Reed on the other hand is having an All-Pro season alongside rookie Sauce Gardner. When the pair of cornerbacks are on the gridiron together, this Jets defense becomes very hard to beat.
You have to wonder if this flu diagnosis was already affecting Reed last weekend in Minnesota. After the game, the veteran admitted to reporters that when he woke up on Sunday, December 4, his “chest was really tight, kind of like [a] sickness,” with a build-up of “fluid.” Because of that, he was playing “on oxygen the whole game” and “had to check myself out” on a possession later on.
Hopefully, Reed and company are healthy by the time the Jets travel to Buffalo this weekend.
Running Back Michael Carter Returns to Practice
On a more positive note, running back Michael Carter did return to practice today according to Saleh. The ball carrier suffered an ankle sprain against the Chicago Bears and missed Week 13 versus the Vikings.
It was always considered a low-grade sprain, however, and now Carter is on track to return in Week 14.
Backup safety and core special teamer Ashtyn Davis was back at practice as well, although he was “limited” with his hamstring while Carter was a full go.
Veterans Duane Brown (LT) and Lamarcus Joyner (S) were also limited on Wednesday, although Saleh made it clear that the latter was more of a rest day for a vet than a major concern. Brown has been questionable every week since returning from his shoulder injury but he always plays, so his status is nothing to worry about as of now.