The New York Jets took zero chances when it came to the edge rusher position this offseason. Despite the return of Carl Lawson, general manager Joe Douglas traded up to draft Jermaine Johnson II, signed Jacob Martin and Vinny Curry, picked up a prospect like Bradlee Anae, and spent a later selection on Micheal Clemons.
It would be a massive understatement to say that the Jets are loaded at the position, and that’s a very good thing considering the history of this franchise.
The final addition before the draft was Curry, who Douglas re-upped later in the free agency process. The decision came as a bit of surprise and things only got more confusing after Johnson and Clemons entered the fold.
Now the Jets set themselves up for a tricky summer of cuts and Curry appears to be falling behind early on in training camp.
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Hamstring Injury Has Sidelined Curry
The Jets gave Curry $800,000 worth of guaranteed money, which is roughly 71.4% of his $1.12 million base salary and cap hit for the 2022 campaign. Not necessarily a significant amount in NFL terms, but not something you hand out to a player that you do not expect to make the Week 1 roster.
Like the offseason before, the nine-year professional was brought in for his leadership and experience but the Jets coaches also expect him to make an impact on the field. So far, he hasn’t.
Curry is expected to return sometime soon, but he’s already missed a handful of practices within the most competitive training camp battle on this Jets roster. The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt detailed the defensive end’s frustrating delay:
Curry was out again but [Robert] Saleh said that on Wednesday the veteran requested trainers to adjust his schedule so he could at least watch practice from the sideline. Curry is fighting for a roster spot, but just about every defensive player has raved about how important Curry’s leadership has proven to be. And [Sheldon] Rankins insists Curry ‘hasn’t lost a step.’
The veteran’s respect within the organization is palpable but at the end of the day, he’s a player, not a coach. Most of the Jets defensive linemen have already registered a sack at camp either pre or post pads going on, and others have reportedly had big moments (interceptions for Martin and Solomon Thomas, notable run stops from Clemons and Anae).
Curry must get himself on the board — and fast — otherwise, this coaching staff cannot justify keeping the 34-year-old over a younger option with more potential.
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Ty Johnson Is Newest Addition to Injury Report
Gang Green has done a pretty decent job managing to avoid injuries early on but two newer additions have sprouted up in recent practices.
Kicker Greg Zuerlein has a minor injury that Coach Saleh referred to as “a little toe” issue. He should be fine for the annual Green & White Scrimmage on August 6, according to the HC.
Running back Ty Johnson is the other, and Saleh noted that the ball carrier “probably won’t be ready” for Saturday’s scrimmage due to a hamstring injury.
Similar to Curry, that’s a tough break for Johnson. This is a big summer for the former Detroit Lions’ sixth-rounder after sliding to fourth on the RB depth chart over the offseason.
Johnson will either have to convince the Jets to keep four backs on the Week 1 roster or prove that he’s more useful than veteran Tevin Coleman. Not to mention he has former Jets fourth-rounder La’Mical Perine and undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight nipping at his heels.
Any injury will make that task much more difficult with limited opportunities in practice.