Both the NY Jets and the San Francisco 49ers are banged up heading into their Week 2 matchup.
The NY Jets will limp into their Week 2 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, both literally and figuratively.
Following a disastrous Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Jets are looking for any semblance of optimism as they’re set to take on the defending NFC champions.
And once again, they’ll be dealing with a multitude of injuries all across the roster.
In the past week, the likes of Le’Veon Bell, Denzel Mims, and Blake Cashman have been placed on the injured reserve adding to the long list of Jets players who remain sidelined.
Fortunately, they may have finally met their match this week as the 49ers also enter Sunday’s game nursing their own injuries. In fact, there may be no two teams dealing with more injuries at the moment than the Jets and 49ers.
The likes of Richard Sherman and Richie James have joined Deebo Samuel and others on injured reserve further depleting an already-injured 49ers roster.
Both teams have lengthy injury reports this week. Let’s take a look at which players could miss Sunday’s game.
Next: 1. Jets injuries
1. NY Jets injuries
- QB Joe Flacco (OUT)
- WR Jamison Crowder (OUT)
- RB La’Mical Perine (QUESTIONABLE)
- OLB Tarell Basham (QUESTIONABLE)
- LB Avery Williamson (QUESTIONABLE)
The Jets will once again be without their backup quarterback in Joe Flacco meaning that Mike White will serve as the team’s backup for the second consecutive in San Francisco.
The more notable absence, however, is that of starting slot receiver Jamison Crowder. Crowder injured his hamstring during Wednesday’s practice and was held out for the remainder of the week.
In his place, Braxton Berrios will receive his first career start after playing just one total snap — on a punt that resulted in a fair catch — last week. It’s unclear how long Crowder will be out, but it’s encouraging that he hasn’t been placed on IR yet.
The Jets should also see the season debuts of both La’Mical Perine and Avery Williamson if all goes according to plan. Perine has missed a few weeks after injuring his ankle during training camp but should be in line to make his NFL debut this Sunday.
Given the state of the Jets’ running backs, it would certainly be nice to see the fourth-round pick receive a few offensive snaps this week. Frank Gore is expected to start against his former team with guys like Josh Adams and Kalen Ballage backing him up.
But it sure would be nice to see another member of the 2020 draft class take the field with so many currently sidelined with injuries.
As for Williamson, the Jets are excited to see him return to action for the first time since the summer of 2019. Williamson’s return coincides with the placement of Blake Cashman on IR meaning that the Jets will happily welcome back the veteran linebacker.
If for some reason Williamson can’t go, expect Harvey Langi to fill in once again alongside Neville Hewitt. But with Langi already playing out of position, the Jets would have to make a move to promote another inside linebacker — likely in the form of Alec Ogletree.
Tarell Basham has also been dealing with a hip injury after playing over 50 percent of defensive snaps last week.
The early indication is that he will play, but if not, expect Frankie Luvu to start in his place while undrafted rookie Bryce Huff would probably be active after he was a healthy scratch in Week 1.
Next: 2. 49ers injuries
2. San Francisco 49ers injuries
- TE George Kittle (OUT)
- CB Jason Verrett (OUT)
- DE Dee Ford (QUESTIONABLE)
The biggest absence for the 49ers this week will undoubtedly be tight end George Kittle who injured his knee in the team’s Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
There was some optimism that Kittle would be able to play, but the 49ers are playing it safe by letting him sit out this week. That means we should see plenty of former Washington star Jordan Reed in Week 2.
Reed hauled in two catches for 12 yards in Week 1 but only played 10 offensive snaps. With a bigger workload in Week 2, expect a significantly greater output, especially given the lackluster 49ers’ wide receiver corps.
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Sixth-round rookie Charlie Woerner, a player who impressed a lot in training camp, could also see some action in two-tight-end sets.
Jason Verrett’s absence isn’t huge on paper, but it’s exasperated by the loss of Richard Sherman to IR. In Sherman’s place, Ahkello Witherspoon will step into the starting lineup after a concussion scare earlier in the week.
Expect to see the duo of Emmanuel Moseley and Witherspoon starting on Sunday providing a prime opportunity for the Jets’ lackluster receivers to make something happen.
Dee Ford is also questionable with a neck injury after playing in Week 1. The odds are that he suits up on Sunday, but the 49ers could opt to play it safe with him just as they did with Kittle.
Nonetheless, the 49ers have a deep enough defensive line to more than make up for his absence with veteran Kerry Hyder the most likely player to start in his place.
San Francisco will see the returns of center Ben Garland and rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk which should provide a boost to an offense that will surely miss Kittle.
Both teams are beaten and battered going into Week 2. And no matter the result, let’s just hope that both the Jets and 49ers come away relatively unscathed.