New York Jets: What to do at tight end?
The New York Jets recently announced that tight end Jace Amaro has a torn labrum in his shoulder and will miss the entire 2015 season. The Jets’ second-round pick from a year ago was being counted on to develop into a pass catching tight end. Amaro reportedly was having a poor camp before the injury, but the Jets had hoped the injury was minor and had hoped for his eventual return.
Tight end is an important aspect of Chan Gailey’s offense. Gailey likes to line up his tight ends up in various positions in the hopes of creating major mismatches with linebackers. For example. Gailey had Amaro lining up as a half back during summer practices.
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Gailey will use them in a traditional sense, line them up as a second slot or receiver or put them in the backfield. He depends on them to block but also values the position as another aspect of his passing game.
The loss of Amaro for the season isn’t a huge blow to the offense, but it certainly leaves the coaching staff looking for an alternative. Earlier in camp, the Jets lost Zach Sudfeld for the year as well due to injury. Recently, Gailey has been using wide receiver Quincy Enunwa in a hybrid role, lining him up as a second slot receiver and using his blocking skills in the backfield as well.
The final answer at tight end might not yet be on this roster, but the Jets have some options. Jeff Cumberland returns of course, but there are weaknesses to his game that are undeniable, and fans had hoped someone would step up and replace him this year. Behind Cumberland the Jets also have veteran Kellen Davis.
Davis has made his money in the NFL primarily as a blocking tight end and he will be utilized heavily to help the offensive line protect Ryan Fitzpatrick and to open rushing lanes for Chris Ivory. But he offers the Jets very little in the passing game.
Wes Saxton is a rookie un-drafted free agent that has shown well this summer. Most pundits were predicting him as a practice squad player, but those plans may be adjusted. Arthur Lynch was signed off of waivers from the Miami Dolphins in mid August. Lynch was a fifth-round selection for the Dolphins last year as he missed his entire rookie season due to a back injury that placed him on IR. Miami cut him this year, as reports had him struggling in camp.
Those are the current tight ends currently on the roster. Presumably, Cumberland will be the starting tight end in the passing game with Davis handling the bulk of the blocking duties. An injury to either would leave the Jets’ tight end position in a tough position, with neither of the backups having any NFL experience. Of course the Jets could continue to use Enunwa as a hybrid, but one would have to wonder if that is a sustainable option throughout the season.
Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland (85) catches a touchdown pass against the New England Patriots in the first half during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
I’m looking for the Jets to make some claims off the waiver wire at tight end. Their focus likely will be a pass catching tight end with NFL experience. It should be an interesting watch leading up to the season opener. It’ll be tough to get a player up to speed on the offense, but they will at least need to bring someone in to try.
Again folks, its not time to panic at tight end, but it is an area of concern. Cumberland has been handling the starting duties at tight end so there should be little drop off at the position from last year. He will however need to stay healthy and the coaching staff will need to find an adequate backup for the season.
What are your thoughts on the tight end position for the Jets? Do they have adequate starters? Is there a tight end on the roster that you think is ready to step into the starting role? We here at The Jet Press love to discuss the Jets with our readers so please leave us a comment and Let’s Talk Jet Football!!
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