Florham Park, NJ – With the news coming Wednesday that running back and longtime veteran Bilal Powell was headed to the season ending IR list with a neck injury, the more the reality of the Jets being outmanned sank in effect.
Powell was the second player placed on IR in as many days. Safety Doug Middleton was placed on the season ending IR list a day before Powell, this time for a torn pectoral. The loss is huge for a Jets offense that has already been depleted with injuries at the wideout and in the backfield.
Powell has been a statement within the organization for 9 seasons, all in which he exceeded the expectations placed prior to seasons start. The gruesome neck injury was thought to be considered career threatening but Head Coach Todd Bowles assured media on Thursday that he would make a full recovery.
The list of players injured continues to expand by the day for Gang Green. Just this week there has been 14 players on the injury report (as of Thursday), most notably have been to New Jack City. Newly acquired offseason cornerback Trumaine Johnson has not seen the field since he suffered a quad injury in the week four blowout in Jacksonville.
As for the rest of the secondary it hasn’t been pretty. Buster Skrine has been sidelined since week five when he suffered another concussion. Skrine has dealt with concussions in the past, making this one even scarier. He was finally able to practice on a limited basis this week.
The IQ and skills that Marcus Maye brings to the table are incredibly pivotal to the team’s success. Maye missed the first three games due to recovering from offseason ankle surgery. In his return he was electric and helping guide the team to its first two game winning streak. In the process of the week six win he injured his thumb looking at a return sometime between 3-4 weeks. A positive sign for Maye as he was able to get in a limited practice Thursday, signaling he might be ahead of schedule with his recovery.
As for the offense the biggest chain mover, Quincy Enunwa is sidelined for the next 2-3 weeks following an ankle injury in the win against the Colts. Turn to the backfield and more than just Powell is injured. Isaiah Crowell has been dealing with a foot problem but was able to be a full participant on Thursday.
Deep threat Robby Anderson has also been dealing with an ankle injury that has kept him out of practice this week. The Jets made a move Tuesday by signing veteran Richard Mathews to bolster the wideout depth but he doesn’t figure to make a huge impact unless Anderson can’t go week eight.
On the line arguably the most improved lineman, Kelvin Beachum was able to get a limited practice session on Thursday after not practicing Wednesday. He has been dealing with an ankle injury while center Spencer Long has not practiced due to a knee problem.
Yes, injuries are a part of every team in the NFL, there’s no denying that. But, Jet fans must be tame and understanding of this team. Darnold needs to make the throws yes, but if he does not have any substantial weapons around him his progress will take longer than expected.
To sum up the Jets situation, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier once quoted “your best ability is availability.”