THE JETS EVER-GROWING INJURY REPORT ALLOWS FOR GROWTH OF YOUNG TALENT.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Thursday’s injury report for the New York Jets featured 16 players — six that did not practice and four who are limited.
That’s not even counting the likes of Darrelle Revis, Santonio Holmes, Josh Mauga, Josh Baker or John Conner, who either have been placed on season-ending IR or reached an injury settlement.
Sione Po’uha has missed significant time thus far with a low back injury that’s grown from a lingering tweak to a full blown injury. During training camp, Po’uha and Ryan both downplayed the injury with Ryan saying he “overlooked the severity back in August” and that it was “worse than he [originally] thought”.
Despite the re-injured back, Ryan is “encouraged” by Po’uha’s rehabilitation — citing noticeable increases in his strength and weight numbers.
Clyde Gates (shoulder) has moved to a full participant after missing last week’s game against the Patriots. Ryan also noted his pleasure in adding a healthy wideout back in the mix.
When the topic changed to Bart Scott (toe), however, Ryan was not as optimistic. Ryan mentioned the idea of sitting him out this week and giving the 11-year veteran two weeks (including next week’s bye) to rest his ailing toe. Scott has played 119 consecutive games.
“I guess there’s a chance he’ll play. That injury is a tough one. The toe could’ve kept him out the last weeks. It really could’ve. He’s that kind of guy, who’s going to push all the way. Normally, I’d like to keep him out there. If he can’t change direction in space like he normally can [that’s an issue]. Obviously, if he’s healthy he’ll be out there. Is he going to be 100% this week? No.”
Acknowledging the notion that injuries have hurt this team early on, it only reaffirmed the importance of the old adage “next man up”.
“There’s no excuse. We feel good about our football team. We felt good going in to the year about the depth we have. Now it’s being test but, again, these things happen. Every team will go through something injury wise. This league, it’s the only job with 100% injury rate. That’s why we say only might men play this game,” Ryan said.
With more opportunities for playing time, young players like Demario Davis, Antonio Allen, Isaiah Trufant and Lex Hilliard have stepped in nicely.
“The young man [Trufant] is playing outstanding for us right now. We thought that was the best match-up we had. He’s been doing a terrific job for us. And he’s such a competitive young man that we thought that gave us our best chance. I think going against Wes Welker, that’s about as tough as it gets. I thought he really competed well.”
“I thought Demario, for the most part, played pretty well.”
“[Lex] has done a tremendous job for us, stepping in, not just as a fullback, but even on special teams. He starts on I think four of our special teams and he’s been a really good addition.”
But it all starts with Jeremy Kerley, who was in Ryan’s doghouse during the summer for his struggles picking up the new offense early, the top offensive play-maker since the string of injuries began.
“When I was down on him, challenging him, I wanted to see that he would get our offense down mentally. He’s a smart kid but I was disappointed with him that I’d see mental mistakes and that’s not him. I was just down on the fact that he wasn’t out there and I think that’s it. But Jeremy, that’s exactly what we expect, I think all of us did. Going into last year, the way he took off at the end of last season and now the way he’s approaching it now, I think is the guy that we expected.”
Even with the plethora of injuries, Ryan has confidently stated the noticeable difference in his team’s play since the injury — evidence of his team’s response to adversity.
“I know we’re a better team. We had to improve as a football team and we did. I see us getting better. We have a ways to go to get to where we want to get to, but you see it. We’re making strides. It’s not by luck, or anything else, it’s by design. The way guys have approached how they are in the classroom, how they are on the practice field, you see it carrying over.”
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