NY Jets: 3 most concerning injuries so far in training camp
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets have suffered a few relatively significant injuries so far in training camp.
The NY Jets have found out the hard way — along with the rest of the NFL — the effect an offseason without minicamp, OTAs, and a preseason could have on players.
And it isn’t pretty.
All around the league, NFL teams are experiencing a large number of injuries primarily as a product of this wacky, ill-fated offseason. And the Jets certainly aren’t strangers to that concept.
Last season, the team was plagued by an unpreceded number of injuries. By the end of the year, just one team had more salary cap allocated to the injured reserve than the Jets did.
And unfortunately, the team isn’t off to the best start in 2020.
While none of the team’s injuries have been season-ending, there are still a few to be concerned about. At the moment, just one injury diagnosis has confirmed that a player will miss actual regular-season time.
But even if a player doesn’t end up missing regular-season games, that doesn’t mean that their injury won’t have a significant effect on them, even when they return.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Jets’ three most concerning injuries at the moment.
Next: 3. Bryce Hall
3. Bryce Hall, CB, NY Jets
This one really isn’t being talked about, mostly because he hasn’t stepped on the field yet for non-injury-related reasons.
At the moment, fifth-round pick Bryce Hall remains on the Reserve/COVID-19 list — the lone member of the Jets’ roster still on the list. But while the team is reportedly close to activating him, don’t expect him to begin practicing anytime soon.
When speaking with reporters on Tuesday, head coach Adam Gase provided an update on Hall’s status and indicated that he’s still recovering from the ankle injury that he suffered in his senior season.
Gase didn’t provide a timetable for his return, but he certainly didn’t sound optimistic either.
Hall was universally seen as a Day 2 and potential Day 1 prospect going into his senior season at Virginia. Unfortunately, a gruesome ankle injury he suffered in Virginia’s sixth game of the season tanked his draft stock and he fell all the way to the fifth round where the Jets snatched him up.
There were few questions about Hall’s talent coming out of college, but his medicals scared teams away. And it seems like there’s a good chance that Hall might be forced to begin the year on the PUP list if he doesn’t recover quickly enough.
It’s a similar situation to the one that Blessuan Austin was in last year after he tore the year prior. Unfortunately, Hall’s progress will be slowed immensely given his injury status and it might limit the role he plays in his rookie season.
Hall’s injury has flown under the radar so far, but it’s definitely one that Jets fans should be keeping their eyes on.
Next: 2. Vyncint Smith
2. Vyncint Smith, WR, NY Jets
Vyncint Smith holds the unenviable distinction of being the only Jets player guaranteed to miss regular-season action thus far after he underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a core muscle injury.
And just like that, a player who was being given a golden opportunity to carve out a role in training camp had it unjustly stripped away from him in the matter of one practice.
Smith was injured in Friday’s opening practice and the injury will reportedly keep him sidelined for at least a month. Initial recovery times are projected at around 5-8 weeks meaning that the Jets could realistically be without Smith for close a to two months.
That’s a sizable chunk of the regular season — perhaps up to the first six games of the year.
Smith was expected to be the team’s No. 4 wide receiver behind the likes of Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims, and Jamison Crowder. But after an injury to Mims, Smith was penciled in as the second starter on the outside in training camp.
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But before he was really given a chance to shine, he too went down with an injury — one significantly more severe than his teammate’s.
The hope is that Mims will be back in time for the regular season, but Smith’s absence will still be felt regardless.
Given the lack of depth in the Jets’ receiving corps, Smith was expected to be the first guy inserted into the starting lineup if someone went down. And his blazing speed meant that he would always have a place in the offense in some way.
But now, he’ll likely have to wait until at least a quarter of the season is over before he gets that opportunity.
Next: 1. Denzel Mims
1. Denzel Mims, WR, NY Jets
Smith’s injury may be the most serious ailment to come out of training camp, but it isn’t the one that is going to have the largest impact on the team. And in turn, it isn’t the most concerning.
Mims reportedly suffered a hamstring injury prior to Friday’s practice and he hasn’t taken the field yet during organized training-camp practices. That’s concerning for a number of reasons.
For starters, the Jets don’t exactly have quality depth behind Mims, especially with Smith out. But more importantly, this injury is going to be one that affects Mims’ development — something more important than immediate depth.
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Mims will likely be physically ready for Week 1 — his hamstring injury doesn’t sound too severe. But after enduring an offseason without minicamp or OTAs, Mims will now have just a handful of padded practices in training camp to prepare him for his NFL debut.
That would be a troublesome scenario for any rookie, but it’s especially concerning for Mims. The former Baylor star is supremely talented, but very much so still a work in progress.
He desperately needed a complete offseason to prepare him for his transition to the NFL. Instead, he’ll likely participate in around five practices (along with numerous virtual meetings if that does anything for you) before being thrust into a starting role next month.
That isn’t the start to his NFL career that anyone envisioned and it’s a recipe that could prove disastrous.
Every practice that Mims misses hinders his development and further decreases the chances of him making a major impact in his rookie season.
So while he might be physically ready for Week 1, it’s hard to expect him to be mentally prepared for what’s to come.