(Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the course of the offseason, I've been looking at some of the veterans on the Jets roster in an effort to investigate their potential contributions for the upcoming season. We close today with our final instalment, which is going to look at the potential contributions from running backs in the passing game.

We'll be taking a look at last year's receiving numbers for Matt Forte and Bilal Powell and how those compare with some of the most productive pass catching backs in the league. Then we'll consider what could happen to those numbers now that both players are on the same team. We'll also consider some alternative options and other factors.

The current roster outlook

The Jets entered the offseason with just one halfback on their roster, veteran back-up Zac Stacy. Stacy had spent the second half of the 2015 season on injured reserve with a broken ankle and wasn't expected to win a roster spot in 2016. He lasted until the day before camp, whereupon he failed his physical and was released.

In between times, the Jets had restocked the position, starting with a futures contract for Dominique Williams a few days after the end of the season. Once free agency got underway, they quickly re-signed Powell and added Forte as the presumptive lead back. They also added former New Orleans Saint Khiry Robinson, although Robinson remains on the PUP list as he is also recovering from a broken bone in his leg.

The group is rounded out by undrafted rookie Romar Morris, who signed after an impressive showing while on a try-out basis at rookie camp and veteran Bernard Pierce, who was signed last week to take Stacy's spot. The Jets also added rookie running back Terry Williams on Wednesday.

The basic numbers

In 2014, Forte set the NFL's all-time running back receptions record by catching 102 passes. However, in 2015, his production dropped back to a more sustainable level. In fact, the 44 receptions tied a career-low for Forte, who has averaged over 60 catches per season over the course of his eight-year career.

Powell, on the other hand, set career highs. His numbers were extremely similar to those of Forte as he had three more catches, one fewer yard and an identical catch rate. He also set a career high for yards per catch (9.3), despite the fact that his longest play was only 25 yards. Powell was more productive than Forte in terms of his per-snap output, but that's likely due to the fact that Forte played a full-time role whereas Powell was employed more situationally.

Each of them was in the top-15 for receiving yards by running backs in 2015, but just outside the top 10. Since no other NFL team has two top-15 players in that category, we should give consideration to how that might affect their combined and/or individual production.

Looking deeper into the numbers

Clearly, Forte and Powell were among the most productive receivers in the league, although they both fell well short of Danny Woodhead's league-leading 755 yards, only eclipsing that by 22 yards between them. Woodhead was among three NFL backs targeted more than 90 times, but there were no others with as many as 75 targets. 

Forte and Powell each had between 55 and 60 targets. However, both missed games, which could have seen them higher up the rankings. Forte missed three games and Powell missed five (four of which the Jets lost). According to PFF, Powell would have been the fourth-most targeted back in the entire NFL if the Jets had used him at that rate for a full 16-game season.

In terms of how often their respective teams targeted their backs out of the backfield, both the Bears and Jets were pretty much in the middle of the pack with Forte/Powell responsible for just over half of their team's backfield targets. This means that, even if they both play all 16 games, it would be impossible for them both to get as many targets as they did last year unless the Jets increase the rate at which they target their backs. 

With these two more versatile and productive targets taking up a much larger percentage of the targets, that's not impossible, though. However, even if there was a slight reduction in total targets for one or both of them, the hope would be that they are getting targets instead of other players who might not be as productive in those situations.

Is it a good thing to be targeting your backs a lot though? A quick review of the teams that targeted their backs most often reveals that the Broncos and Panthers - the two teams that contested the last Super Bowl - were the two teams that targeted their backs less than anyone. 

Maybe that's just a reflection of how those teams play. Cam Newton, for example, would likely try to run the ball himself rather than dump it off if he couldn't find anyone open down the field. However, could this mean that those teams have the right idea about how to win?

If we look at the other end of the scale, the top teams are Detroit, Philadelphia, San Diego, Baltimore and New Orleans. Not exactly a murderer's row of dominant 2015 playoff teams. In each case, the teams have personnel that would seem to lend itself to such a strategy.

There could be other reasons why some teams might target their backs more often than others too. Maybe the receivers aren't getting separation down the field, pressure is getting to the quarterback too quickly or the coaching staff is playing conservatively because they lack faith in their passing game. All of these might be reasons why a struggling team might end up with high target numbers to their backs. It's arguably more of a negative side-effect resulting from the struggles than the reason for those struggles.

Is actively trying to use your backs out of the backfield more even a viable approach in the modern NFL though? There is one team out there that had consistent success in doing so and it's one which has schematic similarities to the current Jets team: New England.

The Patriots had the 7th-highest number of running back targets in the NFL and Dion Lewis and James White had over 90 targets between them. Since White didn't really play until Lewis was lost for the year, this essentially creates a two-headed monster that was targeted as much as all but three NFL backs over the course of the season. Clearly the Patriots had good success in doing so and perhaps that's the kind of blueprint the Jets are trying to follow offensively.

There's obviously a lot of overlap between Forte and Powell here and you wonder whether they will just split the load or whether the pair of them could combine to upgrade this aspect of the Jets offense. Even if this does nothing more than give the Jets two options capable of providing the kind of production they brought last year, it should have a better chance of meaning that they get 16 games-worth of production at that kind of level. Also, when both are healthy, it should keep each of them fresher.

The potential is greater though. As noted, they could increase the rate at which their backs are targeted, perhaps to a level on a par with New England last season, which would only require one extra target per game. Also, if they are doing this, it will likely mean that a much higher percentage of the targets are going to one or other of them, as opposed to a player like Chris Ivory, who was not as versatile or reliable as a pass-catching threat in the past.

Forte obviously had a much bigger passing game workload when he set the NFL record in 2014 and no doubt benefited from having Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on the field. He can perhaps benefit in similar fashion from Marshall and Eric Decker this year. Perhaps, therefore, developing this part of the Jets' offense is a viable option.

Alternative gameplans

Even with the production they had last year, Forte and Powell did almost all of their damage catching screen passes, underneath dump-offs and throws to the flat. Can Chan Gailey expand this element of his offense this year?

Forte is a player who has produced as a downfield receiver in the past, so that's perhaps something they could explore more often, even though it didn't happen much last year.

The Jets did show some different looks over the course of the season. Lining up backs in the slot on third and short and throwing short passes to them led to some important conversions over the course of the season for players like Powell, Ivory and Stacy. This marvellous play also came after Powell motioned into the slot:

That was a play where the Jets had one back in the game and then emptied the backfield though. Could the Jets start to introduce some looks with both Forte and Powell in the game together where one stays in the backfield and the other is an option in the slot, perhaps with a mismatch on a linebacker? Last season, the Jets ran 11 plays with Powell and Ivory in the game together, so they do have those kinds of looks within their playbook.

Other considerations

Blocking is obviously an important consideration when weighing up someone's contributions to the passing game. Fortunately, both Forte and Powell have plenty of experience of doing this and can hold their own picking up the blitz.

Should Forte or Powell, or even both, go down, the Jets still have backs who are capable of producing in the passing game albeit to a lesser extent. Pierce and Robinson are more limited than Powell or Forte would be, but certainly bring more to the table than Ivory did when he first became a Jet. Morris, Dominique Williams and Terry Williams, on the other hand, are the kind of scat-back type who would be best suited to a role where that was their primary function.

Let's not forget about the fullback position, because those numbers are included in the statistics quoted above. For the Jets, it's not a big source of offensive production though, as Tommy Bohanon was thrown to just five times last season. Kyle Juszczyk led the league with over 40 catches, contributing to the Ravens being in the top five for targets to their backs.

Conclusions

The Jets played their best football of 2015 down the stretch when they won five games in a row and got their backs involved in the passing game more, spearheaded by Powell. It proved to be a huge loss when he was unable to play in the finale against the Bills. Ultimately, the Jets went 9-2 with Powell in the line-up and 1-4 with him out.

Adding Forte hopefully makes it less likely that the Jets will have to take the field without a comparable receiving threat in their backfield. It also will hopefully serve to keep both backs fresh during the season and may even enable them to expand and develop that part of their offense, which is valuable in terms of getting the ball to playmakers in space, keeping the chains moving and stretching the field horizontally.

The main concern would be that the Jets will be less well-equipped to "ground and pound" with this group, but that's arguably a dying art anyway. Forte has still averaged over 1,000 yards rushing over the course of his career, so he's no slouch as a runner and if the Jets need to go with a power back, then Robinson potentially provides a nice change of pace.

If the Jets can guard against becoming too predictable, using their backs out of the backfield more often is likely to add variation to their offense and will hopefully make it easier for Ryan Fitzpatrick to emulate or improve upon his 2015 success. In theory, this could be a key feature of this year's offense, so I'm eager to see it put into practice.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Khiry Robinson, Matt Forte
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Adam Gase
Adam Gase

Monday night's game against the Patriots is one Sam Darnold would love to forget as quickly as possible. And even though he may want to burn the tape, head coach Adam Gase knows his young quarterback must watch his mistakes to hopefully make sure this result never sees the light of day again. 

"We have to learn from this game," Gase told reporters during a conference call on Monday. "It's a game where it's very painful and frustrating to go through. You have to take as much from what you can as far as to learn from mistakes made, learn from the experience, and put yourself in position to where that doesn't happen again."

It was Darnold's worst start of his early career by far. He finished with only 86 yards on 11-for-32 throwing with a career-high four interceptions. His quarterback rating was 3.6...

Tags: Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Scott Thompson
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Oct 21, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 21, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As the Jets were getting mauled by the Patriots on Monday night at MetLife Stadium, a mic'd up Sam Darnold was heard on the sidelines saying that he was "seeing ghosts out there."

That comment from Darnold, with the Jets down by the score of 24-0 in the first half, was fair game to be aired. But head coach Adam Gase said Tuesday that he and the rest of the organization were not happy about it. 

"Yeah, I think we'll be looking into that pretty hard," Gase said during a conference call. "That was one of those things that was really disappointing to hear about after the game. I don't know if I've ever seen that where somebody that was mic'd up was basically -- a comment like that was allowed to be aired. It bothers me. It bothers the organization. I mean, obviously we're gonna be looking hard into our cooperation (with mic'd up players) going forward."

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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With the Jets at 1-5, GM Joe Douglas could potentially deal some big names in advance of the trade deadline.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano recently wrote about the few big pieces he has to sell …

DL Leonard Williams

The Jets keep praising the 25-year-old despite his lack of production. "He really has played well," defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said on Friday. "He's graded out high each and every week."

Tags: Kelechi Osemele, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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33-0 loss is inexcusable 00:01:11
SNY's Bart Scott, Ray Lucas and Jonas Schwartz examine what went wrong in the New York Jets 33-0 loss to the New England Patriots.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In the middle of the disaster, with the walls coming down around his team, Adam Gase admitted he was worried about his young, franchise quarterback. This was the 16th start of Sam Darnold's career and, by far, the worst.

And Gase was worried that the beating might leave Darnold shell-shocked, that this nightmare could linger into next week and beyond.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Leonard Williams 1-on-1 00:02:05
New York Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams speak to SNY's Jeane Coakley about the Jets tough 33-0 loss to the Patriots.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

After his second interception of the game, with the Jets already trailing, 24-0, Sam Darnold was catching his breath on the sidelines, lamenting the blitzes that kept breaking through the offensive line. It was clear he was either rattled or, at the least, confused by what he was seeing.

That's when the ESPN mic caught him saying "I'm seeing ghosts."

That's not a good sign for a quarterback, but it's clear that's what was happening. He was under so much pressure in the pocket, forced to deal with pass rushers coming from everywhere, he couldn't get an accurate read on the coverage. He was seeing things that weren't there, and not seeing things that were there.

Tags: Brandon Shell, Brian Winters, Kelechi Osemele, Kelvin Beachum, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jamal Adams fired up after loss 00:01:35
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams was upset after the Jets 33-0 loss to the Patriots and knows they need to fix things heading into Week 8.

After an AFC Offensive Player of the Week performance, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold followed that up with possibly the worst performance of his short career.

Darnold finished the game 11-of-32 for 86 yards, zero touchdowns, four interceptions and a fumble. Darnold also batted a high snap from Ryan Kalil out of the back of the end zone for a Patriots safety.

The second-year quarterback had a 3.6 passer rating for the night.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Oct 6, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets center Ryan Kalil (55) in the tunnel before game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Oct 6, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets center Ryan Kalil (55) in the tunnel before game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Ryan Kalil injured his elbow on Monday night against the Patriots and was questionable to return for the Jets, but the veteran center returned for New York in the third quarter. 

Kalil was checked by team trainers and doctors on the field before heading into the medical tent. The Jets were down 24-0 in the second quarter when Kalil suffered the injury.

The Jets sent in Jonotthan Harrison to replace Kalil at the time of his injury. 

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Jets struggle in 33-0 loss 00:01:08
SNY's Bart Scott and Ray Lucas gives their grades for every phase of the Jets 33-0 loss to New England on Monday night.

The NFL's trade deadline is no longer a wasteland of silence. 

In recent years, teams have become more willing to move pieces and players to improve their rosters for a potential playoff push, much like the rest of the North American sports leagues. 

The 2019 trade deadline is about a week away as player movement between teams will end on Oct. 29 at 4 p.m.

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Jan 26, 2018; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Oakland Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during AFC practice for the 2018 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 26, 2018; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Oakland Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during AFC practice for the 2018 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Kelechi Osemele is expecting to be disciplined again by the Jets when he doesn't play in their game against the New England Patriots on Monday night.

The Jets set that up on Saturday when they officially listed the 30-year-old guard as "doubtful" for the game. That was a "strategic" decision, according to a source, to leave their disciplinary options open, even though he hasn't played or practiced since the first Jets-Patriots game on Sept. 21.

Osemele was already fined once, according to a team source, when he refused to practice as ordered on Saturday, calling it "conduct detrimental to the team." The Jets can fine Osemele up to one week's pay, or about $579,000. The actual amount of the fine, though, was undisclosed.

Tags: Kelechi Osemele, Ralph Vacchiano
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Bell on chess and football 00:01:44
Le'Veon Bell says one thing people don't know about him is that he plays chess every day and it has a huge impact on his play on the field.

During a sitdown with SNY's Jeane Coakley, Le'Veon Bell was asked if there's something he'd like to share that Jets fans may not know about him. 

His answer? The star running back loves playing chess. 

"A lot of people don't know I play chess," he admitted. "I'm an avid chess player. I literally play every day on my phone."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Scott Thompson
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Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jets star running back Le'Veon Bell has gotten off to a slow start in his first season with the team, but that hasn't stopped him from setting a good example to teammates and coaches.

The 27-year-old Bell signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets in March after sitting out the 2018 season amid contract disputes with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bell played for the Steelers from 2013-2017 and had 5,336 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns in 62 games. He was voted First-Team All-Pro in 2014 and 2017, in addition to earning three Pro Bowl selections (2014, 2016, 2017).

In just five games with the Jets this season, he has 85 rushes for 256 yards and only one touchdown. Bell has been known for also being one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL, yet he only has 28 receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown with the Jets. That's not entirely his fault though, as quarterback Sam Darnold missed three games with mono.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Jan 26, 2018; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Oakland Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during AFC practice for the 2018 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 26, 2018; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Oakland Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during AFC practice for the 2018 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

If the Jets want a fight, guard Kelechi Osemele is prepared to give them one.

The 30-year-old intends to file a grievance against the Jets over the fine he received on Saturday for refusing to practice, according to a source familiar with his plans. He has up to 50 days to inform the NFL Players Association and officially file his complaint, though he is expected to do so this week if his situation isn't resolved.

Tags: Kelechi Osemele, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jul 25, 2019; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 25, 2019; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The showdown between Kelechi Osemele and the Jets heated up on Saturday when the guard refused to practice and the team, as promised, hit him with a fine.

The 30-year-old Osemele was unable to practice, according to his agent Andrew Kessler, because of the shoulder injury that is at the center of his dispute with the team. Osemele says doctors have told him he needs season-ending shoulder surgery, but the Jets disagree and ordered him to return to the field on Saturday.

When he didn't, he was fined an undisclosed amount, according to a source.

Tags: Kelechi Osemele, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jul 25, 2019; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 25, 2019; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets guard Kelechi Osemele said he's been told he needs season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. But the Jets disagree, and their feud could result in discipline if he's not back at practice on Saturday morning.

The strange dispute boiled over on Friday, three days after reports first surfaced -- and sources confirmed -- that the two-time Pro Bowler was headed for surgery. One day later, Jets coach Adam Gase declined to confirm that news, saying "We're going through our process right now."

It turns out the Jets' part of that "process" involved two doctors - their team doctor and one outside doctor - who not only said the 30-year-old wouldn't need surgery, but that he was cleared to play, according to a source. Those doctors also determined the injury was pre-existing, from before he arrived in New York, according to a source, and they believe Osemele can play through the injury -- as he has in the past -- and get it repaired at the end of the season.

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Gase happy to have Mosley back 00:02:18
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase knows you need to execute against the Patriots and he's happy to have an impact player like Mosley back.

Jets LB C.J. Mosley declared on Thursday that he would be returning Monday night against the Patriots, and he'll keep moving in the right direction on Friday.

Speaking before practice, head coach Adam Gase said that Mosley will be limited in practice and take part in team drills for the first time since his injury. Gase was also a fan of Mosley's declaration that he would be playing. 

Mosley made an enormous impact in Week 1, when he had a pick-six, recovered a fumble, and had six total tackles.

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Jets' Robby Anderson
Jets' Robby Anderson

After a frustrating start to the season, Jets WR Robby Anderson broke out in a big way last week.

With 3:46 left in the second quarter, Anderson got behind the Cowboys defense for a 92-yard touchdown to give the Jets a 14-3 lead. They clung on for a 24-22 victory, improving their record to 1-4 as they seek to defy the critics and get themselves back into the postseason hunt.

Coming just one play after a fourth down stop by rookie Quinnen Williams, the Anderson play saw him throw cornerback Chidobe Awuzie off-balance with a double-move, as he streaked down the field. He tracked Sam Darnold's deep throw all the way into his hands at midfield, catching the ball in stride and racing into the clear before the deep safety could get across.

Tags: Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Bill Belichick (Bob DeChiara)
Bill Belichick (Bob DeChiara)

Jets WR Demaryius Thomas didn't hold back in a New York Daily News article when he said he felt slighted by the Patriots, who traded him to New York just days after Antonio Brown signed with New England.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was the one who broke the news to Thomas that he was being traded to the team's division rival. But Belichick was also the one that said a roster spot with the Pats was guaranteed when Thomas decided to re-sign with the club after being cut from their 53-man roster just before the start of the regular season. 

Belichick spoke to that report, and was blunt in his answer -- just like he was with Thomas.

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Mosley ready to play Patriots 00:00:46
New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley updates his injury status and says that he will play Monday night against the New England Patriots.

Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley hasn't played since Week 1 due to a groin injury, but that streak will come to an end on Monday night against the Patriots. 

"I'm playing Monday night," he told reporters on Thursday.

Mosley participated in individual drills on Wednesday, and the update on him before Thursday's practice was even more promising from head coach Adam Gase.

Tags: CJ Mosley, Danny Abriano
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Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (18) runs the ball against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones (31) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (18) runs the ball against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones (31) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Since getting healthy, Jets WR Demaryius Thomas has been a solid receiving option for Gang Green, especially in the last two weeks. With Sam Darnold back against the Cowboys, he saw four catches for 62 yards to help the Jets to their first win of the season. 

But this wasn't where Thomas expected to be putting up yards this season. 

Thomas was with the Patriots this preseason, teaming up with Tom Brady and his former Broncos head coach in Josh McDaniels, who serves as New England's offensive coordinator. Thomas was cut before the start of the season, but he quickly re-signed after rookie WR N'Keal Harry went on the IR. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) in the second half against the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) in the second half against the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

The Jets and Patriots will square off for the second time this season Monday night in an extremely short span, as the two teams saw each other just a few weeks ago during Week 3.

The Patriots hosted the Jets in the last time out and handled their business, leaving Gillette Stadium with a 3--0 record, but just based on the substitution of one player this week, Monday night could potentially be a whole different type of ballgame.

The Jets of course will be in the hands of Sam Darnold this time around, as the second-year quarterback was out with mono for the first time these two teams met this season. Luke Falk got his first career start in Week 3 with Darnold absent and struggled throughout, finishing 12 of 22 for 98 yards and an interception.

Tags: Jamison Crowder, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Possible Mosley return? 00:01:04
Jets Head Coach Adam Gase on whether linebacker C.J. Mosley is ready to return to action after a groin injury

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The worst thing that happened to the Jets early in the season was losing franchise quarterback Sam Darnold.

Losing C.J. Mosley, though, was a pretty close second.

The impact of playing without Mosley for the last four-plus games maybe isn't as obvious as the impact of three games without Darnold, especially since the defense has managed to survive -- and sometimes even thrive -- in his absence. But the Jets don't underestimate how much their defensive captain means to them, and how huge it would be if he would somehow be able to get back in time for their Monday night game against the New England Patriots.

Tags: Blake Cashman, CJ Mosley, Neville Hewitt, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on from the sidelines during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Sep 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on from the sidelines during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

Adam Gase refused to confirm that guard Kelechi Osemele will be having surgery on his shoulder, despite reports that were confirmed by SNY's Ralph Vacchiano earlier this week that he, in fact, would be.

"We're going through our process right now," Gase said at Wednesday's press conference. 

When asked what his previous comment meant, Gase added, "That means I don't have an answer for you."

Tags: Kelechi Osemele
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Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws against the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws against the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has been named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Week after his big return Sunday.

Darnold came back from his three-game absence due to mononucleosis, and put up some big numbers for the Jets in their first win of the season.

The second-year USC product went 23 of 32 for 338 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and a 117.6 passer rating Sunday for the Jets, as they pulled off a big 24-22 upset over the Dallas Cowboys. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Nov 26, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Blake Countess (24) reaches for a pass intended for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn (19) in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Nov 26, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Blake Countess (24) reaches for a pass intended for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn (19) in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Jets made a change in the team's secondary on Tuesday afternoon, signing DB Blake Countess.

Gang Green waived DB Arthur Maulet to make room on the 53-man roster.

Countess is originally a sixth-round pick of the Eagles in 2016, though he never played a game with the team. After playing collegiate ball at both Michigan and Auburn, Countess did not make the Eagles' 53-man roster following his first NFL preseason. 

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Aug 17, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett (77) leaves the field after warmups before the preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Aug 17, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett (77) leaves the field after warmups before the preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett has reportedly been suspended for one game ahead of Week 7's matchup with the Jets on Monday Night Football.

Bennett was not spotted at practice Tuesday after being suspended by the Patriots for conduct detrimental, as first reported by NFL Network's Michael Giardi and Ian Rapoport

The 11-year veteran reportedly was not happy with his role on the team and was not spotted at practice Tuesday.

Tags: Kelechi Osemele
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New York Jets tight end Jace Amaro (88) avoids a tackle by Detroit Lions defensive back Danny Gorrer (36) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Jets tight end Jace Amaro (88) avoids a tackle by Detroit Lions defensive back Danny Gorrer (36) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Jace Amaro gets another chance at professional football, but the former Jets tight end does so outside of the NFL.

Most recently with Gang Green before the 2016 season, the two-year pass catcher headlined several players with ties to New York's teams -- the Jets and Giants -- taken Tuesday in the 2020 XFL draft.

The Jets' second-round pick at No. 49 overall in the 2014 NFL draft was the Seattle Dragons' fourth-round selection, highlighting the XFL draft's first day of skill-player selections.

Tags: Andre Williams, Jace Amaro
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Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Not only did Jets quarterback Sam Darnold have mononucleosis -- New York's second-year starter also had strep throat.

Darnold told Albert Breer of The MMQB early Sunday evening that the past month away from the field was more than just the mono diagnosis.

For "four or five days" during the bout with mono, the 22-year-old Darnold had to additionally fight off strep, which compounded his furious recovery process.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jul 25, 2019; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 25, 2019; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets G Kelechi Osemele will have surgery to repair his injured shoulder, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed. 

Osemele missed Week 5 and Week 6 due to the shoulder and a knee injury.

While this will hurt the Jets' depth, the team was considering the potential of replacing Osemele with Alex Lewis before the injury issues began, according to Vacchiano.

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Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

A day after the Jets secured their first win of the season, Jets head coach Adam Gase had a few injuries to inform the media about. 

The biggest one -- and the one the Jets may worry about most heading into the new week -- was LT Kelvin Beachum sustaining a sprained ankle.

He is currently week-to-week, and the Jets are going to have to plan like he won't be available for the Jets' Monday night matchup against the undefeated Patriots. If that is the case, Brandon Shell, who currently serves as the team's right tackle, might have to shift over to the left side. 

Tags: Chris Herndon, CJ Mosley, Kelvin Beachum, Steve McLendon
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Tight end Chris Herndon has rejoined the Jets after serving his four-game suspension to begin the season. In order to make room for Herndon, the Jets have waived linebacker Frankie Luvu.

The Jets are getting back a big member of their receiving core from last season, as Herndon was second on the team in receptions with 39. The 2018 fourth-round pick also finished his rookie season with 502 yards and four touchdowns.

Despite being reinstated to the active roster, Herndon may not suit up for the Jets just yet, having injured his hamstring prior to Week 5, but he hopes to practice this week. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported on Sunday that the Jets are expecting him to miss two games.

Tags: Chris Herndon
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