One of the biggest disadvantages of playing on a Thursday night is the lack of recovery time for injuries. The Jets will be heading out to Mile High a banged up team, with some key injuries on the offensive side of ball. As of now running back LaDainian Tomlinson, and wide receivers Jeremy Kerley, and Patrick Turner are listed as questionable for the game against the Broncos. When asked about their status head coach Rex Ryan offered the following:
“Well, I would say every one of them, if they make the trip, will be a game-time decision. So, LaDainian has an MCL and Patrick got hit in the kidneys, so we’ll see how he is. And then Kerley has a little bit of a knee. You know the way I am, we don’t travel them. If we don’t think a guy is going to play or have an opportunity to play or a possibility, then we’ll probably just leave them back home. That doesn’t mean that they’ll play for sure, but it means that we’d like to see how they feel when they get there. It’s just like what we did with Plaxico in the preseason when we left him at home because (with) the swelling or whatever, it’s probably not the smartest thing to travel guys. So we’ll know, maybe by (Wednesday) if some guys are staying back. But I’m thinking it’s a possibility that all three will be game-time decisions.”
If all three of these guys are out on Thursday night the Jets are going to have some serious issues on offense. LaDainian Tomlinson is the Jets best receiving back out of the backfield and is very consistent in terms of pass protection. With LT out Gang Green will have to look to Shonn Greene, John Conner, Joe McKnight and rookie Bilal Powell to pick up the slack. In terms of blitz pickup in the passing game that could be a scarey notion. (Note: Broncos LB Von Miller enters the game with 8 sacks and 2 FF)
As for Kerley and Turner, if they are both ruled out for the game the Jets will be down to two starting receivers (Plaxico and Santonio) and will be forced to activate Eron Riley from the practice squad. In order to spread out the field Gang Green will have to use Dustin Keller, Matthew Mulligan (gasp), Joe McKnight (if healthy), and Josh Baker to fill the void. As you can see not exactly an ideal situation in terms of establishing the passing game.
On defense safety Brodney Pool has been ruled out and Darrelle Revis was limited with a knee problem. Before you panic about the Revis injury Rex eliminated any potential concerns: “He had a knee. Don’t worry, he’s playing. I’m not even going to make the trip if Darrelle doesn’t go.”