Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next month or so, we're going to be reviewing some of the top draft prospects at each position to try and assess some potential candidates that the Jets will show interest in.

 We begin today with a look at the 2019 tight end class.

Jets Needs: Tight ends

The tight end position is unlikely to be a major priority for the Jets in this draft, primarily because of one of their picks from last year's draft.

Chris Herndon proved to be a tremendous selection in the fourth round and looks likely to be a key contributor for the next few seasons. After a slow start, Herndon led all rookie tight ends with 39 receptions, 34 of which came in the last 11 games.

Jordan Leggett is the only other tight end currently on the roster and, although his numbers were underwhelming, he was arguably one of the most improved offensive players last year so the Jets might be content to stick with him as the number two. Eric Tomlinson, Neal Sterling and Clive Walford are out of contract. Of the three, Tomlinson is the most likely to return but will draw interest elsewhere because he has a reputation around the league as a good blocker.

2019 Draft: Tight ends 

With the scouting combine just around the corner, most experts regard the top two tight ends as Iowa duo TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant.

Entering the 2018 season, Fant was the consensus top tight end prospect in the nation coming off a season where he caught 11 touchdown passes. However, Hockenson seems to have surpassed him by showcasing a varied skill-set and a penchant for making highlight reel plays, whether by breaking tackles or throwing punishing blocks.

Two years ago, teams underestimated another Iowa tight end in George Kittle, who was an excellent blocker and put up spectacular combine numbers but had underwhelming statistical production. Kittle wasn't selected until the fifth round but is already a Pro Bowler and some experts believe Hockenson could emulate him. While Hockenson's blocking is perhaps not as consistent and he'll struggle to match Kittle's combine numbers, his all-round potential could get him drafted in the first round.

Some of the other top tight end prospects include Alabama's Irv Smith, Stanford's Kaden Smith and Texas A&M's Jace Sternberger. Each of these possesses an ability to stretch the field with Sternberger putting up the most impressive statistics with 10 touchdowns and an average of 17 yards per catch. Scouts will feel good about Kaden Smith's chances of success as Austin Hooper, Cody Fleener and Zach Ertz have all had good careers coming out of Stanford.

Currently, it looks likely that these five will be selected too early to be a consideration for the Jets, but they'll be on the look-out for a bargain if any of the players from the next tier drop into the mid-to-late rounds.

Other candidates for the Jets would include UCLA's Caleb Wilson, who lacks size but had outstanding production with 60 catches for 965 yards in 2018, Dawson Knox from Ole Miss, who averaged 19 yards per catch, and the athletic Dax Raymond from Utah State.

If the Jets want to take someone in the later rounds, Zach Gentry from Michigan and Foster Moreau from LSU are two players who have experience of playing as inline blockers. Moreau was used a lot in pass protection by the Tigers and had a good week at the Senior Bowl.

Georgia's Isaac Nauta was another player whose stock was probably higher at the start of the year, but he had a disappointing season in terms of his pass catching production. However, he was once a highly recruited prospect and he has some potential as a blocker, so could be a value pick.

The versatile Keenen Brown from Texas State could be useful as an H-back type. He was mostly used as a safety valve but showed some excellent abilities after the catch.

Finally, two other late round prospects with the size and potential to be good blockers are Washington's Drew Sample and CJ Conrad from Kentucky. Sample had entered the season with just 21 catches in three years but showed development as a senior with a career-high 25, adding four more in the Senior Bowl. Conrad also has plenty of experience of lining up at the fullback position.

Conclusions

The Jets could still find value at this position in the draft, as they will probably run plenty of multiple-tight end formations in Adam Gase's offense. Although Herndon's blocking improved over the course of the season, he still needs to continue to improve that aspect of his game, so they should be looking to add some blocking specialists or all-round tight ends to complement him.

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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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Leonard Williams (Vincent Carchietta)
Leonard Williams (Vincent Carchietta)

Leonard Williams' name popped up in trade rumors on Sunday, with ESPN's Adam Schefter reporting that "multiple teams" were interested in trading for the Jets' defensive end.

After the Jets' win over the Cowboys on Sunday, Williams addressed the rumors. And he didn't seem too bothered.

"I wouldn't say it makes me uneasy," he told reporters. "You see the best players in the league get traded and it's not like it's a personal thing. It's just the way the business is and I can't take anything personal. That's why I can't really focus on it because I can't really control it. The best thing I can control is my play and wherever I end up, just focus on that."

Tags: Leonard Williams, Danny Abriano
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Sam Darnold and Adam Gase
Sam Darnold and Adam Gase

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets suddenly have a little life with the return of Sam Darnold and a big win over the Cowboys. They are feeling confident, the way they did way back in Week 1.

But it is all too little, too late?

Not necessarily, at least not if they can pull off an improbable win against the New England Patriots at the Meadowlands next Monday night in a game that is shaping up as the Jets' last stand for the 2019 season. Their odds are already long at 1-4, but their playoff path will look impossible if they fall to 1-5.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets QB Sam Darnold
Jets QB Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold returned on Sunday and helped guide the Jets to a huge win over the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.

It was the Jets' first win of the season after starting 0-4, and the triumph dominated the early back pages in NYC on Monday.

Click below to see...

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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 (Frank Franklin II)
(Frank Franklin II)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The first four weeks of the season were disastrous for the Jets. Losing their starting quarterback to mono and a backup quarterback to an ankle injury undermined everything they were hoping to do.

That didn't stop the drumbeat, though, of people unhappy with Adam Gase's performance, wondering if this might be his only season with the franchise.

That's a storyline that seems pretty ridiculous now.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Bart Scott apologizes to Gase 00:00:55
SNY's Bart Scott apologizes for how hard he's been on Jets head coach Adam Gase after getting his first win of the season against Dallas

After the Jets' offense came alive for New York's first win of 2019 in Sunday's 24-22 triumph over the Dallas Cowboys, SNY's Bart Scott got creative with an apology to Adam Gase on Jets Post Game Live.

Critical of Gase throughout the regular season's opening four games for the previously winless Jets (1-4), Scott owned up to his comments about the offense's ineffectiveness under the first-year head coach with quarterback Sam Darnold back from mononucleosis.

Darnold completed 23 of 32 passes (71.9 percent) for 338 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in his first game back since Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills, Sept. 8's 17-16 loss, which he played while mononucleosis started to bring him under the weather.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jamison Crowder 1on1 00:01:43
New York Jets receiver Jamison Crowder explains what QB Sam Darnold brings to the offense when he's under center.

The Jets offense was undoubtedly better with quarterback Sam Darnold in Week 6 as the team picked up their first win of the year over the Dallas Cowboys, 24-22. 

Wide receiver Jamison Crowder was one of the biggest beneficiaries of Darnold's return.  

"It was great. The offense, I just felt like we were able to move the football," Crowder said following the win. 

Tags: Jamison Crowder, Sam Darnold
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The Jets saw quarterback Sam Darnold return to the lineup and light up the Cowboys en route to a 24-22 win over Dallas, their first of the year. Running back Le'Veon Bell was less of a factor in the outing and that's perfectly fine with him. 

Bell averaged 3.6 yards per carry, which came via 50 yards on 14 carries. He did add a touchdown, but Darnold's day stood out, especially after the lackluster quarterbacking the Jets have gotten without him in the lineup. 

Darnold had 338 passing yards and two scores with an interception. But whatever gets it done, works for Bell. Moving forward he thinks Darnold's presence will help create a more dynamic attack for the Jets, and the Darnold-Bell, one-two punch will keep opponents on their toes. 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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Robby Anderson 1on1 00:01:27
New York Jets receiver Robby Anderson thrived having QB Sam Darnold back under center but knows the team still has a lot of work to do

The Jets offense came to life with Sam Darnold under center against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6. The Jets held on for a 24-22 win, but the offensive side of the ball looked its best when Darnold connected with wide receiver Robby Anderson for a score. 

Anderson led the Jets with five catches for 125 yards. A big chunk of that came on his touchdown which was a 92-yard strike that gave Gang Green a huge jolt of life and 14-3 lead late in the first half. 

Prior to the play, Anderson said he communicated to his QB that the Cowboys' secondary had been sitting on shorter routes. The ensuing throw over the top of their defense proved Anderson correct. 

Tags: Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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How much different did the Jets look on offense with quarterback Sam Darnold in Sunday's 24-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys?

Just ask Robby Anderson.

The wide receiver caught five passes for 125 yards and a 92-yard touchdown, igniting an offense that the Jets (1-4) desperately needed to get back on track and did against the Cowboys' defense.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

In Sunday's 24-22 win over the Cowboys, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold returned to the lineup in style, completing 23 of 32 passes for 338 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Let's look at some specific examples before we draw conclusions...

First quarter, 14:56. No score. First play of the game at the Jets' 18-yard line.

It didn't take Darnold long to underscore the fact that they had upgraded significantly at the quarterback position.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jamal Adams talks Jets win 00:00:48
Jets safety Jamal Adams is pumped after solidifying the Jets first win and wants the Jets fans to keep their faith and believe in the team.

The Jets very much held on for their first win of the 2019 season, a 24-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys. It took a game-sealing blitz on the Cowboys' late two-point conversion attempt to take the win. 

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott sent a pass intended for tight end Jason Witten into the ground as the Jets weren't playing chess, they were playing math. Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams dialed up an all-out blitz and there were plenty more defenders than blockers. 

The decision worked as safety Jamal Adams went in on Prescott unblocked and forced the incompletion.

Tags: Jamal Adams
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Darnold happy to get 1st win 00:01:27
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was happy to be back and help the team get their first win of the season

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sam Darnold is back. And so is the Jets' offense.

In case anyone needed proof that the problem the last three weeks had been poor quarterback play, the 22-year-old Darnold showed how much a difference even a competent quarterback can make. And he was more than competent. He was outstanding. Playing for the first time since Week 1, he completed 23 of 32 passes for 338 yards with two touchdowns and an interception

It was enough to let the Jets hang on for their first win of the season -- 24-22 over the Dallas Cowboys.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Chris Herndon, Jamison Crowder, Kelvin Beachum, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ty Montgomery , Ralph Vacchiano
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Thomas on his tough upbringing 00:02:28
New York Jets receiver Demaryius Thomas sat down with SNY's Jeane Coakley and opened up on his mother and grandmother's incarceration.

SNY's Jeane Coakley sat down with Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, and talked about his difficult upbringing.

Thomas is thankful to have gone to church and Bible study, instead of doing other activies.

"But I could have easily went the opposite way and been in the wrong crowd," Thomas said. "But I just couldn't be that kid. I always wanted to take care of my sisters, my family, my mom, grandmother. I always had in my mind that they'd get out one day, and they was able to get out."

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Leonard Williams (Bill Streicher)
Leonard Williams (Bill Streicher)

As SNY's Ralph Vacchiano pointed out earlier on Sunday, the Jets will be looking to be extremely active at the NFL trade deadline that approaches closer by the day. And one of the players he says to watch is DL Leonard Williams

Well, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the interest in Williams is already there around the league. 

Schefter is hearing that multiple teams are looking at Williams, the former first-rounder by the Jets back in 2015. And what could they potentially get for him? 

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets may have a glimmer of hope now that Sam Darnold is back in the lineup, but they are still facing a stark and unfortunate reality. Since 1990, when the NFL playoffs expanded, only one team has started 0-4 and gone on to make the playoffs. And it hasn't happened since the San Diego Chargers did it in 1992.

That's why between now and the trading deadline on Oct. 29, many around the league believe the Jets' motto should be, and will be: "Sell!"

A lot can happen in the three games between now and that deadline, of course, but multiple league sources told SNY that they expect new Jets GM Joe Douglas to be extremely active in the next few weeks. One source used the word "firesale" to describe what he expects would happen thanks to the combination of a new GM, a team with an 0-4 record, and several expensive but talented players who may not fit in to his long-term plan.
 

Tags: Kelechi Osemele, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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The 0-4 Jets will face the 3-2 Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Here's what you need to know about where to watch...


DATE/TIME: Oct. 13, 2019 at 4:25 p.m. ET

NETWORK: CBS

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New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder (82) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Michael Owens) (Michael Owens/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder (82) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Michael Owens) (Michael Owens/AP)

Sam Darnold has been medically cleared and is ready to get back into the starting lineup on Sunday against the Cowboys, and one of his top targets is happy to see No. 14 back under center.

Jamison Crowder recently told Steve Serby of the New York Post that he's "excited" to have Darnold back on the field.

"I'm glad that he's back. I'm just excited, man, see what we can do with him back at the head of the offense," Crowder said. "I feel like the first game [Buffalo], me and him started off with great chemistry, and things were kind of obviously derailed with him being sick or whatnot."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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The Jets announced on Saturday afternoon that the team has signed veteran nose tackle Steve McLendon to a one-year contract extension. 

Originally an undrafted rookie free agent signing with Pittsburgh in 2009, McLendon, now 33 years old, originally joined the Jets in 2016 on a three-year deal. This past march, the Troy product re-signed with Gang Green on a one-year deal. Now, he will be under contract through the 2020 season. 

Tags: Steve McLendon
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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets outside linebacker Brandon Copeland (51) takes a knee moments before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets outside linebacker Brandon Copeland (51) takes a knee moments before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

The Jets have activated linebacker Brandon Copeland following his four-game suspension, the team announced on Saturday. To make room for Copeland on the roster, the Jets waived quarterback Luke Falk

Copeland was sidelined for the first four games after violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy by failing an offseason drug test. Copeland maintains the failed test was due to a tainted supplement he was using, but regardless he is set to make his season debut against the Cowboys on Sunday.

Copeland signed with the Jets prior to last season and appeared in all 16 games (10 starts) in 2018, setting career highs with 47 tackles and five sacks. He played for the Lions in 2015 and 2016 before missing all of the 2017 season with a torn pectoral muscle and signing with Gang Green.

Tags: Brandon Copeland, Sam Darnold
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Gase happy to have Darnold 00:01:36
Jets head coach Adam Gase chats with SNY's Jeane Coakley and explains how Sam Darnold's return will affect and improve the team's offense.

Jets QB Sam Darnold will make his return to the field for the first time since Week 1 on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys

When he'll be getting dressed to play, the second-year quarterback will be wearing specialized pads for extra protection for his spleen, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

"The same company that made specialized pads for Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, used that same model to develop something quickly to protect Sam Darnold," Pelissero said. "With Newton, he is just a bigger bodied quarterback, so he needed a little extra protection through his mid-section. With Darnold, the concern when you've had mono is the spleen. Standard shoulder pads really don't provide that type of protection. So, Darnold, I'm told, went through multiple fittings and he's got something that he is comfortable with as he gets back on the field."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) makes a catch in front of Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (ROBERT DEUTSCH )
Sep 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) makes a catch in front of Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (ROBERT DEUTSCH )

Wide receiver Robby Anderson has been a bright spot for the Jets offense the past few seasons, but is off to a slow start this year through four games.

The 26-year-old out of Temple University had made 155 catches for 2,280 yards and 15 touchdowns from 2016 through 2018. Including a breakout year in 2017, where he caught 63 passes on 114 targets for 941 yards and seven touchdowns. 

He started 15 of the 16 games he played in during the 2017 season, and averaged 58.8 yards receiving per game with 38-year-old Josh McCown as his quarterback. So naturally, it was expected that Anderson would take another step forward when the team drafted Sam Darnold with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Tags: Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Sam Darnold is back under center 00:01:28
Jets QB Sam Darnold talks about playing again, and how the team's offense needs "to clean up the details" in order to find success.

Jets head coach Adam Gase gets his starting quarterback under center once again, but when Sam Darnold does take that first hit on Sunday against the Cowboys, everyone will be holding their breath. 

Darnold is returning from mononucleosis, and it may have been a week earlier if he didnt have an enlarged spleen. It's a side effect of the illness, and could even be fatal if it were to burst upon contact. 

That's why doctors had to be totally sure Darnold's spleen returned to normal size. With him starting this week, the result is it has -- and that's why Darnold isn't nervous if he does take a hit. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Aug 24, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Ty Montgomery (88) celebrates this touchdown with offensive guard Alex Lewis (61) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 24, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Ty Montgomery (88) celebrates this touchdown with offensive guard Alex Lewis (61) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, the Jets should be getting several starters back from injury or suspension, headlined of course by Sam Darnold. This should provide a much-needed injection of talent for a team that has mostly been over matched in losing each of their first four games.

However, while the team as a whole has been struggling, there have been some positive flashes here and there from young players who have been making the most of their opportunity for additional playing time.

While the returning players should send most of these individuals back to the bench, it would be a shame if their playing time dried up altogether. Let's explore some players who deserve to continue getting chances to contribute even as the team approaches full strength:

Tags: Bilal Powell, Brandon Copeland, CJ Mosley, Henry Anderson, Kelechi Osemele, Quinnen Williams, Sam Darnold, Ty Montgomery
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