The NY Jets are set to take on a Carolina Panthers team featuring one of the worst offensive lines in football this Sunday. And that already bad offensive line just got even worse.
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule told reporters on Monday that starting right guard John Miller had tested positive for COVID-19 and, since he's unvaccinated, will be required to isolate for 10 days meaning that he'll miss the team's Week 1 game.
Miller was already considered one of the weak spots on a very poor Panthers offensive line. With the veteran out, Rhule said that backup Dennis Daley will take over as the starting right guard for this week's game.
An already difficult matchup for Carolina's starting five just got even more difficult. Robert Saleh must be a happy man.
The NY Jets could take advantage of a very poor Panthers offensive line
Even if Miller was starting, the Panthers were set to roll out one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.
At left tackle will be the well-traveled Cameron Erving who is little more than an experienced body at this point. In six NFL seasons, Erving has finished with a Pro Football Focus grade below 47.0 in all years he's played enough snaps to qualify.
That's not just bad, that's the performance of a player who's hardly even roster-able. Yet, Erving will be tasked with protecting the blindside of Sam Darnold.
If only Carl Lawson was playing.
Perhaps where the Jets' defensive line could feast the most, however, is on the interior. Daley is taking over at right guard and the former sixth-round pick has just 12 career starts under his belt.
In his lone season where he played enough snaps to qualify (2019), Daley finished with a lackluster 57.7 PFF grade that ranked 65th of all guards in the NFL.
Meanwhile, Carolina has a familiar face starting at left guard in former Jets lineman Pat Elflein. Elflein is fresh off a season in which he finished with a 48.0 PFF grade that ranked 73rd out of 80 qualified guards.
Perhaps the only saving graces on their offensive line are center Matt Paradis, who is around league average, and right tackle Taylor Moton. Moton is one of the best young right tackles in football, but he alone can't save the unit.
The Panthers have a bad offensive line. A really bad offensive line. And the loss of Miller only makes things worse for Darnold and the offense.
The Jets must do everything they can to take advantage of a dreadful Panthers offensive line in Week 1. Their chances at a victory likely depend on it.