The NY Jets received some unfortunate injury news on Monday when it was revealed that defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins suffered a dislocated elbow in the team's 20-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Week 9.
The injury could reportedly sideline Rankins for up to 4-6 weeks, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Although head coach Robert Saleh offered a more optimistic timeline when speaking to the media on Monday, Rankins is still expected to miss some time.
The seven-year NFL veteran had been putting together a bounce-back season in 2022 and was a big part of the Jets' success on defense. Replacing him will be no easy task.
There is, however, one notable player the Jets could look to sign as a way of remedying the situation. That player is former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Linval Joseph who the team brought in for a visit last month.
Joseph visited the Jets a little over two weeks ago as the team was looking to upgrade their interior defensive line depth. With Rankins now set to miss some time, it might be worth revisiting Joseph as an option.
Linval Joseph is a logical option for the NY Jets to replace Sheldon Rankins
A 12-year NFL veteran, Joseph spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers where he proved that he can still contribute at a high level. He's not the same player who was named to consecutive Pro Bowls in Minnesota, but Joseph can still play.
Joseph is an excellent run-stopper who would provide valuable experience and depth to a defensive tackle room that's a little thin following Rankins' injury. Of course, the Jets could always opt to go the internal route as well.
The team has the likes of Jonathan Marshall and Tanzel Smart down on the practice squad, two players who shined when given the chance this summer. Marshall, a former sixth-round pick, would be a fun addition to the defensive line rotation as would Smart who has become a perpetual summer standout.
The Jets could always roll with three true defensive tackles as well and have John Franklin-Myers and/or Micheal Clemons shift inside more. Those extra defensive end snaps could be given to players like Bryce Huff and Jermaine Johnson. The Jets don't have to dress 10 defensive linemen every game.
The Jets have their options, but if they're looking to make an external addition, Linval Joseph makes the most sense. With the bye week coming up, the decision doesn't have to be made right away — and it likely won't be.