NY Jets’ cornerback Brian Poole is out for the season and will undergo surgery.
The Jets placed Poole on injured reserve on Tuesday after the 28-year-old had been dealing with both a shoulder and knee injury.
On Thursday, head coach Adam Gase told reporters that Poole would be undergoing shoulder surgery meaning that he would miss the remainder of the 2020 season.
Poole returned to the Jets after a standout 2019 season that saw him finish as Pro Football Focus‘ No. 9 overall cornerback. His 79.0 grade was by far a career-high as he put together the best season of his career with the Jets.
General manager Joe Douglas managed to convince Poole to re-sign on a cheap one-year, $5 million contract in the offseason despite his outstanding year. And in 2020, the Jets were treated to more of the same from their superb slot corner.
In nine games, Poole recorded two interceptions, seven pass deflections, and finished with a PFF grade of 77.1 — this time good for seventh in the league. He proved that the 2019 season wasn’t a fluke and that he was no one-year wonder.
Poole is legitimately one of the best slot cornerbacks in the NFL right now and it’s impossible to dispute that. For that reason, the Jets will surely feel the impact of his absence.
The NY Jets’ secondary will look very different without Brian Poole
This comes just two days after the team released veteran Pierre Desir further decimating their cornerback depth. To make matters worse, de-facto No. 1 cornerback Blessuan Austin suffered a neck injury in practice and will be undergoing an MRI.
If he’s forced to miss Sunday’s game, the Jets will roll with five cornerbacks — three of which are rookies. The likes of Bryce Hall, Lamar Jackson, and Arthur Maulet would likely be catapulted into starting roles with Javelin Guidry and the recently-claimed Corey Ballentine behind them.
Maulet is expected to take over for Poole in the slot with the undrafted Guidry likely serving as his backup. Hall should slide into the starting lineup with Jackson as well if Austin can’t go.
The Jets will be forced to embrace the youth movement in Week 11 against a potent Los Angeles Chargers’ passing attack. Things could get ugly.