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New York Jets will be thin at linebacker this week even if C.J. Mosley returns

NY Jets (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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The New York Jets are set to be very thin at linebacker this week with multiple key injuries even if star linebacker C.J. Mosley does return.

The New York Jets have dealt with an abundance of injuries this season. Whether discussing quarterback Sam Darnold‘s bout with mononucleosis or season-ending injuries to the likes of Quincy Enunwa and Avery Williamson, it hasn’t exactly been a fortunate year for Gang Green.

But perhaps no position has seen more misfortune than inside linebacker.

The Jets entered 2019 incredibly optimistic about the state of their linebacker core. Four-time Pro Bowler C.J. Mosley was signed in the offseason and the Jets hoped that he and the aforementioned Williamson would give the team one of the best linebacker duos in the league.

Unfortunately, Williamson suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the preseason thus ending any hopes of that before they ever even started. But it was okay as the Jets were fortunately very deep at the position.

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Even after trading away Darron Lee in the offseason, the team still had veteran Neville Hewitt and rookie Blake Cashman who could step in and start if need be. Hewitt started the final four games of last season and impressed in his limited playing time.

But once Mosley went down in Week 2, the Jets inside linebacker depth was really tested.

The only healthy linebackers on the team remained the aforementioned Hewitt and Cashman — who were both starting — and veteran special-teamer Albert McClellan.

However, there is optimism going into this week as the hope is that Mosley will be able to return after missing pretty much the last four and a half games after departing in the second half of the Jets Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

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While Mosley is officially listed as questionable for Monday night’s game, the sixth-year pro indicated earlier in the week that he plans to play. That’s good news for the Jets, but he may not have much help alongside him.

Hewitt is listed as doubtful as he’s been dealing with both a knee and a neck injury. On top of that, McClellan has already been declared out with a concussion leaving the team with two healthy inside linebackers.

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That’s assuming Mosley even plays.

Expect Mosley and Cashman to get the start this week but if one of them goes down, it’s unclear who would step in and fill their role. Harvey Langi has experience at off-ball linebacker and would probably be the next man up but the Jets have used him exclusively as an edge rusher.

Other than that, perhaps players like Tarell Basham or Brandon Copeland could play some off-ball but neither has much experience doing so.

The Jets will be in a tricky situation come Monday night, especially if they run into any more injuries at the position.

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So while it is good news that Mosley will be able to play, the Jets better hope that their string of injury misfortune is officially over.

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