The New York Jets are losing a key cog in their defensive line rotation.
Fowler said, “depending on the healing process” he could miss anywhere between four and six weeks.
Sheldon Rankins Is a Key Loss for the Jets Defense
One of the secret sauces of that elite Jets defense has been the resurgent play of Rankins in a Jets uniform.
After a wayward first season with the team in 2021, Rankins has flipped the switch and reminded everyone why he was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
Through the first nine games of this season, the former Louisville product has racked up two sacks, 25 total tackles, and one forced fumble.
Rankins has delivered some solid grades from Pro Football Focus as well to back up the stats:
- 74.5 overall grade
- 70.6 pass-rush grade
- 62 run defense grade
Gang Green does have two practice squad players available in Tanzel Smart and Jonathan Marshall. Also as Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic noted on Twitter, John Franklin-Myers and Micheal Clemons can also slide inside situationally.
Where Do the Jets Turn Now After Sheldon Rankins Injury?
Head coach Robert Saleh said on The Michael Kay Show that this bye comes at a “perfect time” and he wasn’t kidding.
That well-timed bye also allows the Jets to kick the can down the road on this Rankins situation. Saleh said the team won’t make any decisions on whether or not to place him on injured reserve until they get back next week.
If the Jets choose that option, Rankins would have to miss a minimum of four games. Perhaps the full bye week and then the week leading into the New England Patriots rematch could alter their potential plans for Rankins.
Despite his first-round status, Rankins isn’t a name that will raise a lot of alarm bells for the fan base but he has been playing at an insane level this season.
Zack Rosenblatt described him as a “big loss” and someone that has “flown under the radar.” Rankins is one of the vocal leaders on this team and has either secured sacks himself or for his teammates throughout the season.
Joe Blewett of Jets X-Factor did some tape breakdown from Sunday’s contest and showed how dominant he was versus the Buffalo Bills.
Prior to Rankins getting hurt, there was a lot of chatter on Jets’ social media that they needed to add some more beef on the inside. Obviously, the team agreed with that notion as they have been kicking the tires on a few free agents for tryouts over the last few weeks.
They have a few in-house options available but you should fully expect the Jets to add a veteran here sooner rather than later.