There’s a ton of New York Jets’ news hot off the Twitter presses this Monday afternoon as a huge piece of this roster was finally sighted practicing at camp.
Gang Green nation, welcome back defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.
Robert Saleh did inform the media that he believed the star defender would return to practice this week, and the head coach kept his word. The Jets’ defensive line has been ridiculously good this summer, leveling any and all blockers that have entered their path.
Williams will only make this unit better, especially since most of the pressure has come from edge rushers like Carl Lawson, Bryce Huff and John Franklin-Myers (switches inside too). The former first-round pick can provide that bull-rush on the interior.
Coach Saleh also revealed when a few other key Jets may return from injury, like rookies Elijah Moore and Alijah Vera-Tucker.
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Key Injury Updates From Saleh
First off, Williams may be back but he’s unlikely to play much against the Green Bay Packers during the second preseason game. Saleh’s exact words were: “Maybe get him a couple of reps when we get to Green Bay but we’re going to ease him in and just use this week to give him a chance to get his wind back.”
He also responded, “no,” on the follow-up about playing in the Packers game. Saleh told reporters that he loves “the depth” on the D-line once Williams is 100%.
“The man is just pure mass,” the coach continued about Williams, “I mean you look at him, he’s enormous… it’s hard to stop that mass from moving, especially with how strong he is, how smart he is, how violent he is, how explosive he is.”
In terms of the two integral rookies, the news was not what Jets fans were hoping to hear. The Jets HC said: “Vera-Tucker obviously is still day-to-day. Elijah Moore, not expecting him this week, hopeful to get him back next week for Philadelphia. Not worried about his status for Week 1.”
It’s disappointing news for Moore, whose quad issue is apparently more troublesome than initially reported. Saleh made sure to point out that the dynamic playmaker will be okay for the regular season, but he’s missing important reps against NFL talent and you really just pray this injury doesn’t turn into a nagging one.
Speaking of nagging injuries, Vera-Tucker’s has already taken on that form. The first-round pick has been trying to regain strength in his pectoral, but the David Moore signing was a signal from the Jets front office that this could take some time.
Tight end Ryan Griffin has also picked up a hamstring injury and several members of the Green & White were not practicing today. That list included Braxton Berrios, Ronald Blair and Kyle Phillips along with those that were already discussed.
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Chris Naggar Becomes Latest Jets Kicker to Bite the Dust
How does the infamous Queen song go again? Oh yeah, that’s right.
Unfortunately, I can’t help but hum the tune when I think about the Jets kicking situation, which seems to roll through more bodies than a morgue. They’re about as lifeless too, and that’s saying something.
My partner Boy Green and I both predicted that the starting kicker was not on this roster back when Sam Ficken and Chris Naggar were the sole contenders. On August 16, that has become fact, not speculation.
Now the job lies in the leg of Matt Ammendola, undrafted kicker out of Oklahoma State — or does it?
The 24-year old has looked competent since joining the roster and he’s known for his ability to kick from deep, but he has very little in-game experience (only preseason and college). Is Joe Douglas willing to trust him in what would be his first NFL appearance in Week 1?
The Jets already missed the boat on Zane Gonzalez, who signed on with the Detroit Lions on August 10, as well as most other veterans that are worth a hoot. The better option is probably to wait on waivers. Many franchises have multiple kickers on their roster and a bunch of those players should become available before the regular season.
My favorite is Jose Borregales of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s the guy the Jets should have signed when they brought in Naggar.
Some names I’ve heard come up recently are Jake Verity of the Baltimore Ravens (fan recommendation), Ryan Santoso from our New York Giants brothers in blue, and former Chicago Bears prospect Eddy Pineiro.