Jets Wide Receiver Misses Practice Due to Car Accident: Report

Jeff Smith

Getty New York Jets wide receiver Jeff Smith runs with the football on August 27, 2021.

The New York Jets took the practice field this afternoon on September 29 but one player from the active roster was missing, wide receiver Jeff Smith.

Normally, this can mean any number of things from a release to an injury but in this case, it was an accident that kept Smith from the team facilities. NFL insider Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news.

There’s always a slight nervousness whenever you see a tweet like this. After all, the Jets organization has gone through the wringer this summer. Initial reports are that there were no serious injuries, however, which is tremendous news.

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Aftermath of Car Accident

ESPN’s Rich Cimini detailed the aftermath of the car accident and Smith’s well-being.

Despite being “OK,” or “fine” according to other members of the Jets beat, it appears Smith could show up on the Week 4 injury report based on what Rapoport and Cimini had to say. There have been several injuries at wide receiver this season, from Keelan Cole’s knee to Jamison Crowder’s groin/COVID test.

Rookie Elijah Moore was also sidelined for all of the preseason games, which may have slowed his development out of the gates. The only healthy receivers on the active roster have been Corey Davis, Denzel Mims and Braxton Berrios, and even those three missed practice time this summer.

This has hindered a revamped core that was supposed to help quarterback Zach Wilson succeed in year one. Instead, these wide receivers have looked unprepared most weeks, making the rookie signal-caller’s job that much more difficult.


Smith suffered a concussion during the car accident and he is “unlikely to play on Sunday,” according to Connor Hughes of “The Athletic.”

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Impact of Smith Injury

Smith’s main role right now is on special teams. He serves as one of the two gunners on punt coverage, across from Justin Hardee. According to head coach Robert Saleh, that’s the reason he’s generally active over a player like Mims.

Otherwise, he’s a gadget receiver that offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur uses from time to time. Last week in Denver, Smith played six offensive snaps out of 54 according to Pro Football Focus. The other six receivers were as follows; Davis (51), Berrios (42), Cole (27), Moore (26), Mims/Crowder (inactive).

Many have been calling for a Mims promotion since Week 1. The excuses from Saleh and LaFleur have varied on the second-year player, but the main reasons have been his knowledge of the playbook, route-running ability, and special teams’ versatility.

If Smith is sidelined for Week 4, the obvious cause and effect would be that Mims gets the activation, right? I’m not so sure.

Saleh broke the news today that Crowder is trending towards playing against the Tennesee Titans, via Brian Costello. Davis and Cole are also healthy and Berrios is the primary return-man. That’s four already and the team has only activated five receivers in the past.

The key for Mims would be Moore. He suffered a concussion during the Week 3 loss. Even if Moore and Smith are both out though, there’s one more wrinkle, Vyncint Smith.

The second of the two Smiths is another player that has special teams ability as a gunner. Remember preseason Week 1 when Vyncint Smith made an acrobatic play to down a punt at the one-yard line?

With the way things are going for Mims, I’m willing to bet ST coordinator Brant Boyer and LaFleur both do. I really hope that the sophomore out of Baylor is out there on Sunday but until I see him warming up on the field before kick-off, I won’t hold my breath.

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