4 players the NY Jets can't afford to lose to injury in 2024

Substantial injuries to any of these four players could doom the NY Jets' Super Bowl aspirations in 2024
Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA
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4. C.J. Mosley, LB, NY Jets

The Jets have arguably one of the best linebacker duos in the NFL with veteran C.J. Mosley and rising star Quincy Williams patroling the middle of the field. Mosley is often called the QB of the defense and is an extremely intelligent player making him one of the most important on the field.

Going into last season, linebacker was regarded as a weakness on the roster. Mosley, while still a productive player, was getting long in the tooth, and Williams was the epitome of boom or bust failing to harness his athleticism to play in control. For every big play he made there was another big whiff that cost the Jets dearly.

Last season though, Williams put it all together. Still uber-athletic, he has learned when to throttle down and play in control with Mosley's mentorship being a big reason for this development.

As for Mosley, even with some decline in his athleticism, he is still a productive player. His impact though goes beyond his own play. As the defensive signal caller and chief communicator, Mosley impacts the game at every level.

He's the one responsible for calling the plays, making sure everyone knows their assignments, calling out audibles, and general communication. He's essentially an extension of Robert Saleh on the field, and by this point, he knows the defense like the back of his hand.

So while linebacker is a position that is nowhere near as valuable as it once was, Mosley's value to the team transcends the value of the position he plays; even though he has a stud linebacker playing next to him.

Beyond that, the linebacking corps depth is unproven at best and subpar at worst. In 2022 the third linebacker was veteran Kwon Alexander, who played 49% of the defensive snaps. Last season, fourth-year linebacker Jamien Sherwood took over the third linebacker role but only played 17% of the snaps.

The Jets seemed not to fully trust Sherwood, instead pivoting to more three-safety big nickel looks with safety Ashtyn Davis often playing as a hybrid linebacker. That approach may work alongside Mosley, but if he were to go down, the Jets could not replace him with safeties masquerading as linebackers.

The rest of the linebacker depth chart is comprised of a 2023 sixth-round pick who redshirted last season, and former waiver-claim Chazz Surratt who played just nine defensive snaps last season and is primarily a special teams player.

The talent gap is huge between the starters and backups, but more importantly, no one else possesses the football IQ, experience, and leadership required to run one of the stingiest defenses in the NFL.

While Mosley might not be the biggest star on defense, a case can be made that he's the most important player. Him missing any extended time would be a huge blow.

The above four players fill the most irreplaceable roles on the team. Rodgers plays the single most important position in professional sports. Williams and Hall are true superstars, supremely talented and elite players at their respective positions, while Mosley is the heart and soul of the defense and a key leader on the team.

Any one of those four missing significant time would be a nearly insurmountable obstacle for the Jets. It isn't that the roster isn't constructed well, but any of the four have such an outsized impact that they are impossible to replace.

If health is on their side, the Jets should enjoy a very fruitful season, but any injuries to these key players and fans will be quickly back in the throes of misery just like the 2023 season.