Jets Hosting Impromptu Tryout After New Greg Zuerlein Injury

Greg Zuerlein

Getty New York Jets kicker Greg Zuerlein during Week 1 of the 2023 season.

The New York Jets revealed a new injury on Friday, September 15, ahead of their Week 2 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys — and it has the potential to be somewhat key.

“You’re going to see [Greg] Zuerlein on the injury report,” head coach Robert Saleh noted during his Friday press conference, adding that his ailment “happened late” this week in practice. “He won’t participate today in practice,” Saleh clarified. “He’s not ‘out’ for the game [but] he’s dealing with a groin [issue].”

“We’re 50-50 [on if Zuerlein will play in Week 2],” the Jets HC admitted after a follow up question. “Working out kickers today in the event that he can’t. It’s not serious [long-term] but serious enough to bring this game in question.”

Top Week 2 Kicker Candidates for Jets in the Event Greg Zuerlein Cannot Play vs. Cowboys

Saleh referred to this injury as a “knuckleball” just before the game, rather than a “curveball,” so he didn’t exactly mince words on the importance of the veteran kicker.

“This is not a small thing,” ESPN’s Rich Cimini weighed in after the news. “In a game featuring two outstanding defenses, you have to figure points will be at a premium. If Zuerlein is out, it will impact their decision-making in plus territory.”

Despite all that, the situation is what it is, and Saleh voiced that he has faith in general manager Joe Douglas and his staff, should they need a quality fill-in at a moment’s notice.

“Joe and his staff, they’re on it,” he relayed. “[They’ll] get all these kickers in for a workout to see which one would be best available come Sunday but gotta roll with the punches.”

Later, on September 15, NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo revealed that kickers Austin Seibert, Caleb Shudak and Matthew Wright tried out on Friday, along with punter Ty Long. Of the four, Wright has had the most NFL success as a placekicker.

The journeyman has made 40 out of his 46 career field goal attempts (87.0%), while Seibert has only made 80.0% of field goals on his career — including a poor 60.0% stretch in 2022. Wright also had a more impressive career-long of 59 yards, while Seibert has only made from 53 yards.

As for Shudak, the second-year prospect only has one game of experience in which he made three of four field goals. Long is a punter by trade but has attempted field goals in the past, completing them at a 77.8% clip.

Jets RB Breece Hall Still on ‘Pitch Count’ in Week 2

Saleh also shared that running back Breece Hall will likely still be on a “pitch count” against the Cowboys.

“You just try to give him a little bit more every single week,” the Jets coach told reporters. “We’re still in the pitch count world. We gave him 11 touches last week.”

Saleh added a joke that Hall approached him for more touches when the Week 1 game went to overtime — if needed — but the head coach shut the youngster down, replying: “Well, that’s why you’re on a pitch count.”

“It’s our job to protect players from themselves sometimes cause they’re so competitive,” Saleh explained. “We’ll continue to push the envelope [with Hall] … to get [him] into football shape.”

Based on these comments, the assumption is that Hall will receive somewhere between 11 and 15 touches, if the Jets “give him a little bit more” as stated above. The rising star accumulated a ridiculous 147 scrimmage yards (13.4 yards per touch) in that small amount of work in Week 1. Needless to say, fans are anxiously awaiting Hall’s encore performance in Dallas.

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Matthew O'Leary
Matthew O'Leary
8 days ago

Get well soon Greg the leg! Big loss if he can’t go