Is Allen Lazard playing today? (Latest injury update for NY Jets vs. Chargers on MNF)

Is Allen Lazard playing tonight?
NY Jets, Allen Lazard
NY Jets, Allen Lazard / Danielle Parhizkaran/ /

NY Jets wide receiver Allen Lazard is officially listed as questionable heading into the team's Week 9 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football tonight.

Lazard popped up on the injury report with a knee injury on Saturday after practicing fully all week. The Jets immediately declared him questionable for tonight's game, although a recent report offers optimism for Lazard and the team.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Monday afternoon that Lazard is "expected to play tonight" against the Chargers "barring a surprise." It seems as though the Jets are preparing for Lazard to play in Week 9.

That's encouraging news for a Jets offense that could use all the help they can get. Despite his inconsistencies this season, Lazard is still an important cog in the Jets' passing attack and likely the best run-blocking wide receiver on the roster.

The NY Jets expect Allen Lazard to play on Monday Night Football tonight

In seven games this season, Lazard has hauled in 17 catches for 255 yards and a touchdown. He's on pace for just 41 catches and 619 yards despite being the team's undisputed WR2. On top of that, Lazard ranks second among all qualified wide receivers in drop rate.

Lazard's inconsistencies have been an issue for the Jets this season, but he's also had a knack for the big play. The Jets' wide receiver room outside of Lazard (and Garrett Wilson, of course) isn't exactly promising, either.

That's what makes this significant news for Gang Green. Without Lazard, the Jets would have been forced to lean on the likes of Randall Cobb, Xavier Gipson, Jason Brownlee, and Irvin Charles.

Lazard gives the team a big-bodied red-zone target and a capable starting-caliber wide receiver. His value shouldn't be overlooked, especially in the team's running game.

Barring any unexpected developments, the Jets should have Allen Lazard in tonight's game. His knee injury is worth monitoring.