Quincy Enunwa had developed into Sam Darnold's most reliable receiver early in the season. He was the player Darnold threw to the most and turned to when he needed a third-down catch.
So what is Darnold going to do without Enunwa, who suffered a high-ankle sprain and will probably be out for about a month?
Well, the good news is that Darnold played without Enunwa two weeks ago against the Denver Broncos and was without him for most of the game on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. The Jets won both games, and though Darnold didn't get a lot of extra help against the Broncos, plenty of receivers stepped up to help against the Colts.
That obviously has to continue if the Jets are going to keep winning. So here's a look at the players who will benefit most from Enunwa's absence, and those the Jets will need the most:
TE Chris Herndon
The fourth-round pick out of Miami has impressed the Jets since the summer, but the production hasn't been there in the regular season. He had signs of a breakout on Sunday when he caught two catches for 56 yards. That doesn't sound like much, but one was a 32-yard touchdown on which he managed to get wide open, and the other was a great leaping catch in coverage on an underthrown ball.
The Jets need a tight end to be a safety-valve for their rookie quarterback, period. The truth is Enunwa always played more like a tight end anyway with the type of routes he ran and the physical nature of his game. Robby Anderson is obviously not built for that role, and Jermaine Kearse really isn't either. So if anyone is really going to replace Enunwa, Herndon is the guy.
WR Jermaine Kearse
Forgetting the types of routes and style of play, Darnold just needs a reliable receiver to emerge in Enunwa's absence, someone he trusts implicitly in a big spot. Kearse became that guy against the Colts, catching nine of 10 targets for 94 yards. Five of those catches went for first downs.
And if there was any doubt how much Darnold trusted Kearse, just look at the last play of the first half when the Jets ran a second-and-1 play with 18 seconds left and no timeouts remaining. He hit Kearse over the middle for a 22-yard gain, and Kearse managed to end the play in time for the Jets to sprint to the line of scrimmage and spike the ball for a field goal try with :03 left.
That was a big-time spot, a big-time throw and a big-time catch. If there Jets are winning, there'll be a lot more of those in the coming weeks.
WR Terrelle Pryor
He's the Jets' biggest receiver (6-foot-4, 228 pounds), and the one with the most potential to be a No. 1-type guy. So far he hasn't played like it, though, with only 14 catches through six games. He showed signs of life against the Colts, though, with five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Kearse can't do this alone, even if he gets tight end help. Pryor may not be the receiver who caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards in Cleveland in 2016, but he's big and strong, has good hands and needs to be more involved in the offense. He was destined to be the fourth option behind Enunwa, Kearse and Anderson, the deep threat. Now he'll see more targets and he needs to find a way to stand out.