NY Jets’ WR Breshad Perriman could miss ‘a game or two,’ as Sam Darnold’s weapons run low

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The New York Jets have made things difficult for themselves through the first two games, with countless mistakes in non-competitive losses to the Bills and 49ers.

But the injury situation hasn’t helped. And it doesn’t look like it will be getting better with another tough challenge looming.

The Jets could be without three more key offensive starters as they travel to face the Colts on Sunday.

Wide receiver Breshad Perriman suffered a sprained ankle in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers and coach Adam Gase said he “may miss a game, or possibly two.” Center Connor McGovern suffered a hamstring strain in Sunday’s loss, and is “week-to-week” according to Gase. And wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who missed Sunday’s loss with a hamstring injury, still has an uncertain timetable for return.

“I don’t have a great answer right now,” Gase said of Crowder. “Every day we’re just hoping he gets a little better. We’ll see kind of where we’re at when we hit (practice) Wednesday.”

The Jets are already without running back Le’Veon Bell and rookie receiver Denzel Mims, who are both on injured reserve with hamstring injuries and eligible to return Week 5 when the Jets host the Cardinals.

And it will only make things tougher for their struggling offense, which sits at the bottom of the NFL in most statistical categories, if quarterback Sam Darnold is is without more starters for Sunday’s game.

Reading between the lines: Perriman sounds like a long-shot to play against the Colts, leaving the Jets without their top deep threat.

Gase said that Jets will do everything they can to get McGovern ready to play, but admitted that the way things stand now, backup Josh Andrews will “probably” be the starter on Sunday.

Aug 20, 2020; Florham Park, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Breshad Perriman (19) jogs across the field during training camp at Atlantic Health Center.

“We’ll just kind of see where Connor is,” Gase said. “Obviously, if he ends up going this week, we just have to make sure that it’s not one of those deals where he only plays a few plays and he’s out of the game. We need to have confidence that he can make the duration of the game.”

Crowder’s status will become more clear as the week goes on. He had been dealing with a hamstring injury late in training camp, and seemed fine Week 1 in Buffalo when he was the Jets’ leading receiver. But he re-aggravated the injury last Wednesday in practice, and missed the game. If Crowder returns to practice at some point this week, it will be a sign that he’s headed in the right direction.

The revolving door at wide receiver makes life a lot tougher for quarterback Sam Darnold. But Darnold doesn’t see that as a valid excuse for the Jets’ offensive struggles.

“I mean, it is what it is,” Darnold said. “We’ve got to get guys healthy, but that’s out of my control, that’s out of our control. For me, I got to make sure that I’m doing my best to, whoever’s in there, making sure they understand their job and what they’re doing on every play. And then it’s just throwing on the ball on time, throwing it accurately and making sure that I continue to move the sticks and put the ball in the end zone.”

His current top receiver is Chris Hogan (six catches, 75 yards on Sunday against the 49ers), who didn’t join the roster until after the start of training camp. Slot receiver Braxton Berrios and Darnold worked together last year, but most of their productivity Sunday (six catches, 59 yards and a touchdown) was late in the game against the 49ers’ backups. Darnold is still building chemistry with his other outside target, Josh Malone (four catches, 16 yards Sunday).

Tight end Chris Herndon (one catch, five yards on Sunday) will likely be Darnold’s most dynamic target on Sunday, if Crowder can’t play. But Herndon is still working his way back after missing almost all of last season, and through two games (seven catches, 42 yards), he and Darnold have yet to rebuild the productive connection they shared as rookies in 2018.

“I’m sure it’s probably not fun for him to go through where he’s got a revolving door of wide receivers and trying to figure out who his guys are,” Gase said. “I’m sure the injuries to those guys aren’t fun for him to go through. He doesn’t complain about anything, he just tries to figure guys out and tries to develop chemistry with them as fast as possible and tries to find a way to get first downs and stick the ball in the end zone.”

Doing that has proven a monumental task for the offense early in the season. The Jets have scored only three touchdowns this season — and two of those visits to the end zone were long after the final outcome was decided — tied with the Giants and Chargers for the fewest in the league through two games.


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