Jets Injured Youngster Had ‘Breakthrough’, Close to Returning

New York Jets

Getty New York Jets players working through some drills during training camp.

A New York Jets youngster is getting closer to making his true NFL debut.

Back in April the green and white selected tight end, Jeremy Ruckert, with the No. 101 overall pick in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft.

One of the reasons the former Ohio State product slipped that far was due to a nagging foot injury he suffered at the Senior Bowl. Throughout the voluntary OTAs and mandatory minicamp, Ruckert has had minimal involvement.

Although it appears he is super close to returning to the football field.

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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

During the July 29 presser, Jets head coach Robert Saleh revealed that Ruckert “had a mini breakthrough” according to his training staff over the last week.

He said he is getting “closer” to coming back and they’ll keep a close eye on him and see how he progresses through the weekend.

This is great news for the Jets as it will provide yet another weapon for a young Zach Wilson to work with. When Gang Green invested a premium resource into Ruckert it was viewed on the outside looking in as a bit of a luxury.

Especially considering the Jets signed a pair of big-money tight ends in CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin to free agent deals. All of this is a far cry from what the Jets had been holding on the roster over the last decade.

A Golden Plan

If Ruckert continues to check out through the weekend he should be ready when the pads come on Monday. If that happens the Jets will have ultimate roster flexibility to work with.

Ruckert may appear to be buried on the depth chart, however, there is a chance he could contribute immediately as a lead blocker. That was his calling card in college and would allow the Jets to have the option of keeping or ditching a traditional fullback in 2022.

If that all works out the window of opportunity would spring open for another player like Kenny Yeboah or Lawrence Cager.

However if Ruckert is unable to get healthy enough in time, that could shut that door. We all know that the former third-rounder is a roster lock, regardless of whether he can significantly contribute in year No. 1.

That would mean the Jets would likely keep their current fullback Nick Bawden which in turn could limit the number of bodies the team keeps at tight end.

Saleh admitted during the presser that it looks like the Jets will have to release some NFL players at the end of training camp. Indicating that the talent pool of the roster has significantly increased.

It is a first world problem that Saleh as a head coach and more specifically the Jets as a team aren’t used to.

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