It’s that time of year where the injury bug begins to hit NFL teams. The Jets have seen their share of late, with injuries decimating the corner situation for the near future. Depth is an integral part of any team, and the Jets are no different. While Rex Ryan works to fix the corner situation, there remains the depth situation along the offensive line. Injuries at tackle could be devastating, and would likely pose an even bigger challenge to fix. Let’s take a look.
Presumably the Jets starters at tackle will be veteran D’Brickashaw Ferguson and newly acquired Breno Giacomini. Ferguson has been a solid part of the Jets offensive line for the last eight years. Ferguson has played in every game of his career which is quite the accomplishment for any lineman. He’s hit the 30 yr old point now, and his play has diminished a bit over the last two seasons, though he’s still a solid starter.. Breno comes over from the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. He’s a seven-year veteran, breaking into the starting role for Seattle two seasons ago. He played solidly last season down the stretch, but missed seven games due to injury earlier in the season. An injury to either or both would be significant during the season.
The depth at the position is paper-thin. Dakota Dozier is a small school rookie, drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 draft. Dozier has played well at times through camp, but hardly could be considered a starter at this point in his career. Next up we have Ben Ijalana going into his fourth NFL season, but with limited experience. He was drafted by Indianapolis and played four games before tearing his ACL in 2011, he missed the remainder of his rookie season. He again tore his ACL in 2012 during the Colts training camp and missed the entire 2012 season. The Jets picked him up in 2013, but he never appeared in a game. Brent Qvale is a rookie out of Nebraska coming to the Jets as an un-drafted free agent. He’s inexperienced, and wouldn’t likely be much help in case of injury. Markus Zusevics rounds out the tackles, coming over from the New England Patriots after spending the 2013 season on injured reserves.
Those are the players that would likely be called on to fill the role as starter in the likelihood of an injury. Of course it is possible that the job would fall to Oday Aboushi, who played the position in college, but he is being converted to guard currently. Oday however sat out the entire 2013 season without seeing game action, basically rendering him a rookie. He has drawn attention in camp this season, while rotating with Brian Winters at both guard positions.
The tackle position is a down in the trenches dirty job at the pro level, the likelihood of injuries are fairly good. Ferguson has escaped injury throughout his career which makes his string of starts quite the accomplishment. Giacomini on the other hand is questionable and if an injury occurs it would seriously affect the entire line. I see the depth at tackle as a major concern going into the season. If injuries occur, the Jets lack viable replacements and it would be a major setback to the offense. How do you view this situation? Should the Jets be looking for a veteran tackle? Tell me what you think!
Aug 8, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tackle Breno Giacomini (68) during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jody Gomez-USA TODAY Sports