After the Jet’s performance Monday night, fans are wondering if their team has finally turned a corner, or if they will fall back to old habits. With the Dolphins taking the Jets on at home tomorrow at 1 pm, let’s take a look at those who are injured and those who could step up in their absence.
OLB Josh Martin (concussion) is OUT. S Marcus Maye (foot) is doubtful.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 14, 2018
Josh Martin is surprisingly still in concussion protocol two weeks after being diagnosed with one against the Giants in week four of the preseason. With Martin out last week, Brandon Copeland got the majority of reps at outside linebacker with 51 while rookie Frankie Luvu chipped in with 35 of his own. Luvu played a decent game and is clearly trending in the right direction as a rookie who turns just 22 in four days with plenty of potential. That being said, Martin was the Jets best of the three, generating 10 tackles for loss last season, so he was able to get in to the backfield. With Martin out, if Luvu doesn’t progress as the Jets hope, it could be another season of lackluster sack performance from the linebackers.
Marcus Maye is listed as doubtful, so the chances of seeing him on Sunday are slim. In considering how good Doug Middleton looked at free safety last week, it may not be that big of a blow. A third-year player who appeared in four games as an undrafted rookie but was placed on IR before the 2017 season started, he looks poised to continue his development. MIddleton is also showing that Maye doesn’t need to rush through his recovery, and they can wait until he is fully healthy without compromising the integrity of the defense.
WR Jermaine Kearse has been a full participant in practice the last few days, so he should play against the Dolphins. He may not play the majority of offensive snaps, or even half as they don’t want him to re-injure his abdomen, but he should play some. As we saw last week, the Jet’s passing game was on point and explosive. Something Jet fans haven’t been accustomed to recently. Quincy Enunwa was Darnold’s favorite target, being targeted 10 times and hauling in 6 catches for 63 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown. Terrelle Pryor caught all 3 passes thrown his way, and Robby Anderson caught his lone target downfield in the end zone for a touchdown. With Kearse back, he just adds another reliable option for Darnold. Expect another strong passing game, and for Darnold again to spread the ball around. Especially since the Dolphins secondary leaves much to be desired.