The NY Jets have designated four players to return from injured reserve including Le’Veon Bell.
The Jets officially announced that the likes of Bell, linebacker Blake Cashman, wide receiver Vyncint Smith, and third-round rookie pass-rusher Jabari Zuniga have all been designated to return from IR.
This will open up a 21-day window where these four players will be allowed to practice with the team before the Jets have to make a decision on whether or not to officially activate them to the 53-man roster or leave them on IR for the rest of the year.
In theory, each of these players will be eligible to play as soon as this Sunday’s Week 5 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. But that isn’t necessarily the case and it will be worth monitoring each of their statuses during practice this week.
At the very least, all four have returned to the practice field for the first time in over three weeks.
The NY Jets will see Le’Veon Bell and three others return to practice this week.
Bell is the most notable of the bunch and the Jets will surely welcome him back with open arms. The former All-Pro running back injured his hamstring in the first half of Week 1 when he landed awkwardly on the turf.
The Jets kept Bell in the game in the second half before he seemed to re-injure the hamstring and was subsequently removed. Bell would spend three weeks on injured reserve, but appears on track to return this week.
As for Cashman, the Jets placed him on IR the same day they did Bell after he left Week 1 in the first quarter with a groin injury. Cashman actually started that Week 1 game and it will be interesting to see if he returns as a starter in Week 5 or later.
Smith has been sidelined the longest having missed most of training camp after undergoing core muscle surgery on August 18th. Hopes were high that Smith could be one of the team’s breakout players this season after an encouraging showing in 2019.
Expect Smith to immediately figure into the wide receiver plans and re-assume his role as the team’s kick returner upon his return. That’s likely bad news for Josh Malone‘s roster status.
Finally, the Jets are expected to see the debut of Jabari Zuniga in the near future. Zuniga missed all of training camp with a quad injury and is somewhat of an unknown at this point after being drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Jets are still desperate for any sort of pass-rush help so it will be interesting to see what kind of role Zuniga plays. But after missing all of training camp, it’s unlikely he sees the field in any significant capacity for at least a few weeks.