After suffering an injury during the Oct. 23 game against the Broncos, Jets wide receiver Corey Davis said he didn’t consider it serious.
Nearly a month later, Gang Green is still waiting for his return to the field.
Davis will miss his third consecutive game this Sunday against the Patriots as he is still recovering from a knee injury that kept him sidelined in the first game against New England and the Buffalo Bills. The 27-year-old didn’t practice at all this week, as he was seen working with trainers during the media availability portion of practice on Thursday.
In seven games this season, Davis has recorded 19 catches for 351 yards and two touchdowns. With Davis out again this week, the Jets will likely start Denzel Mims, who has started the last couple of games.
After requesting a trade during the preseason, Mims was inactive for the season’s first six games. Then following Elijah Moore’s trade request, Mims has played in the last three games with four catches for 92 yards.
Jets coach Robert Saleh says he is optimistic that Davis will return soon, but he said the same thing before the team’s game against the Bills two weeks ago.
“When you’re dealing with those knee sprains, they heal differently,” Saleh said. “I think we are really, really confident in his ability to get back with us next week.
“But right now, it is unfortunate he’s out.”
Gang Green could also look for a way to get Moore back involved in the offense. After recording 43 receptions for 538 yards and five TDs as a rookie, Moore’s role in the Jets offense has been dramatically diminished.
Days after not receiving a single target during the victory against the Packers on Oct. 16, Moore asked for a trade and the team sent him home and made him inactive for their next game against the Broncos. Moore returned to the team a week later against the Patriots but has only been targeted once in the last two games.
He has 16 catches for 203 yards and no touchdowns in eight games this year.
“He has a great mindset, and when his time comes, he’s going to be there to make a play,” Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said.
The news appears to be better for right guard Nate Herbig, as he is listed as questionable to play against the Patriots because of a shin injury. He was limited during Friday’s practice.
However, Saleh said Herbig should be “ready to roll.” Herbig’s shin caused him to miss practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
Left tackle Duane Brown’s status (shoulder) is also questionable, but he will likely play after being limited in practice earlier this week. Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, who injured his elbow in the 20-17 victory against the Bills, will not play against the Patriots.
Rankins will reportedly be out for four to six weeks. However, the Jets are optimistic that he won’t have to be placed on injured reserve.
BENEFIT OF MEANINGFUL GAMES
A year ago at this time, the Jets were 2-8 and headed toward a top-five pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Fast forward to 2022 and not only are the Jets in the middle of a playoff race in the AFC at 6-3, but with a win against the Patriots Sunday, they can lead the division.
Coming into Week 11, the AFC East is the lone division in the NFL that has all four teams that would currently qualify for the playoffs. The Dolphins would be the No. 2 seed in the AFC, while the Jets, Bills and Patriots would be the fifth, sixth and seventh seeds.
Since he’s taken over as Jets coach, Saleh believed the team would play meaningful football games in December. A win against New England would not only snap a 13-game losing streak to the rival Patriots but also put the team one step closer to Saleh’s vision when he took over.
“It’s easier to talk to guys,” Saleh said about having a team three games over .500. “We all know we are not just going to ram our heads into a wall as it is more rewarding to play for more than just a paycheck.
“When you’re playing for more than just a paycheck, it is much easier to show tape and everyone is more coachable, coaches are more coachable, we all want to find ways to get better. That’s the easy part.
“It just continues to help us find ways to get better. I think anytime you play for just a paycheck, it is rewarding.”