The NY Jets' secondary won't be at full capacity entering the team's Week 5 matchup against the Denver Broncos. Star cornerback D.J. Reed is in concussion protocol and could miss this week's game, per head coach Robert Saleh.
Saleh told reporters on Wednesday that Reed was in concussion protocol and would not practice today. While the Jets' coach insisted that the team is optimistic Reed will play on Sunday, that's hardly a vote of confidence given Saleh's track record.
Just two weeks ago, Saleh told reporters he was "confident" left tackle Duane Brown would play against the New England Patriots. 24 hours later, he was placed on the injured reserve.
While this was likely a bit of gamesmanship from the third-year head coach, it's hard to trust any of Saleh's injury updates at this point. There's every chance Reed doesn't play on Sunday,
D.J. Reed injury would be a major blow to the NY Jets defense
Saleh also told reporters that backup cornerback Brandin Echols would miss Week 5 with a hamstring injury. Echols suffered the injury in the team's Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.
Without Echols out at least one week (and likely more), the Jets' secondary is suddenly pretty thin. If Reed isn't able to play on Sunday, former fifth-round pick Bryce Hall would be in line to start opposite Sauce Gardner.
The Jets are working out cornerbacks on Wednesday and signed a whopping three corners to their practice squad on Tuesday, including nickel cornerback Craig James, who spent the summer with the team.
The Jets reportedly brought in veteran Terrance Mitchell for a workout on Wednesday. Mitchell has 94 career games under his belt across eight seasons in the NFL. He last played for the Tennessee Titans in 2022, starting five of the 11 games he played.
As for Reed, he remains one of the most integral pieces in the Jets' defense. His 77.2 Pro Football Focus grade ranks 15th among all cornerbacks in the NFL. His absence would be significant.
The Jets are hopeful that Reed will be available on Sunday, but as we've seen with the team in the past, hope can only get you so far. Here's to hoping Saleh's injury update is actually accurate this time.