When opportunity knocked, Denzel Mims came calling. Mims started in place of the injured Corey Davis in Week 8 and maximized his snaps in the NY Jets' 22-17 loss to the New England Patriots.
With Davis primed to miss Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills as well, Mims is expected to once again step into a starting role. But what happens when Davis inevitably returns, ideally after the bye week?
Well, as it seems, Mims has earned a permanent role in the Jets' offense, at least according to head coach Robert Saleh.
Saleh spoke to reporters on Friday and was asked about Mims' future once Davis is back in the fold. The second-year head coach said that Mims had "absolutely" earned a role in the offense moving forward while praising his young wide receiver.
"His attitude has been awesome. I feel like three weeks ago, something flipped. From his daily approach to coachability, all of it has really amplified for him. He’s really taking the bull by the horns and really showing a lot of maturity, not that he wasn’t mature before. Really like where he is mentally, like his mindset. So, hopefully he continues to grow"- Robert Saleh
NY Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims made the most of his opportunity in Week 8
Mims was on the field for a season-high 75 percent of offensive snaps on Sunday and finished with two catches for 76 yards on three targets. He nearly hauled in that third target too with a leaping grab on the sideline, but he was unable to get both feet down in bounds.
There were others opportunities as well and Mims might have had an even more productive day had the Jets received a bit better quarterback play. Nonetheless, Mims clearly earned the trust of the Jets' coaching staff this past week — something he hasn't had in a long time (if ever).
With Davis sidelined, Mims has stepped into a role as the Jets' top run-blocking wide receiver, as evidenced by his crucial block on Breece Hall's 62-yard touchdown against the Denver Broncos two weeks ago.
Even when Davis returns, the Jets seem committed to finding Mims a role in the offense, even if it's a reduced one. That won't be easy with the likes of Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios, and even Jeff Smith all competing for touches.
Having Mims active on game days would require the Jets to either sit one of those wide receivers or scratch a player at a different position. But Mims proved this past week that he belongs on the field.
The former second-round pick will have another golden opportunity to shine this Sunday against the Bills. With Davis out, expect the Jets to once again lean on Mims to play upward of 70-80 percent of the team's snaps.