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NY Jets: It’s time to worry about Denzel Mims’ injury

NY Jets, Denzel Mims (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Denzel Mims (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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NY Jets’ wide receiver Denzel Mims remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The NY Jets had high hopes for second-round pick Denzel Mims going into the 2020 season. A star at Baylor, the physically-gifted wideout was expected to immediately step into the starting lineup and provide a boost to an underwhelming receiving corps.

But at this point, it’s unclear not only when he will step back on to the gridiron, but when he will even see meaningful playing time.

Mims was always considered to be a work in progress as a prospect. More of a projection pick, general manager Joe Douglas eyed Mims as a developmental project who could one day become a true No. 1 receiver.

Unfortunately, the nature of this past offseason certainly slowed his developmental process.

The lack of minicamp, OTAs, and a preseason meant fewer opportunities to practice in the summer. And for rookies just joining the NFL — particularly someone as raw as Mims — that’s going to have an adverse effect.

For that reason, expectations should have already been curbed for what the top-60 draft pick could do in his rookie season. But to make matters worse, he’s yet to see the field in training camp.

Mims reportedly tweaked his hamstring prior to the team’s first day of training camp and has remained sidelined since. He started doing some light jogging during Wednesday’s scrimmage indicating he could be back soon, but he certainly has a lot of catching up to do.

Even when Mims returns, it’s hard to see him running with the first-team offense — very possibly into the regular season.

It’s unlikely we see Denzel Mims with the NY Jets’ starting offense any time soon.

Look at what the Jets are doing with Avery Williamson. Williamson returned to practice at the beginning of the week but has worked almost exclusively with the second-team defense.

Sure, Williamson’s injury (a torn ACL suffered last preseason) was more severe, but hamstrings can be tricky. Rush a player back on a bum hamstring and he could miss weeks or even months of action.

The Jets are going to take it slow. But in reality, they might not have much of a choice.

Even assuming Mims is fully healthy for Week 1 — which grows increasingly unlikely with every day that passes — it’s hard to imagine he’ll be ready for any significant number of snaps on offense.

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He’s had no minicamp or OTAs. He’s had no preseason. And there’s a good chance that he has no more than a week of training camp. Expecting him to see work with the starters come Week 1 would be foolish.

This doesn’t mean that Mims’ future is in question. Obviously this isn’t an ideal way to start an NFL career, but players have come back from much, much worse.

However, it does mean that at least for 2020, the Jets’ wide receiver position is in an even more dire situation than first anticipated.

Chris Hogan is going to be running with the starters — and that’s if everyone is healthy. Perhaps Mims can overtake him as the year goes on, but that remains to be seen.

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It’s time to be concerned about Denzel Mims’ injury. And it’s time to address the impact it will have on his rookie season.

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