FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP)The New York Jets are getting healthy again at just the right time.
Wide receivers Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims practiced fully Wednesday and are expected to be healthy for the season opener against the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday.
”Yeah, I mean the fact that we got more guys back, to see this (injury) list kind of starting to shrink, it’s kind of nice,” coach Adam Gase said.
Perriman, one of the team’s top free agent signings this offseason, had missed several days with a knee injury. Meanwhile, Mims – a second-round draft pick in April – had missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury. It was uncertain if either would be healthy in time to play Sunday.
”It was great, just to throw some routes with them and get them in the huddle,” quarterback Sam Darnold said. ”It was awesome just to get those guys back out there and have them get into a little bit of a rhythm, it was good.”
The Jets’ wide receiver group was hit hard by injuries this summer. In addition to Perriman and Mims, Vyncint Smith (core muscle), Jeff Smith (shoulder) and Lawrence Cager (knee) missed some time in camp, causing a revolving door effect with several players running opposite Jamison Crowder in the starting offense. New York also signed veteran Chris Hogan to help offset some of the injuries, and he could end up getting significant playing time at Buffalo.
The speedy Perriman signed a one-year deal in April worth $8 million, including $6 million guaranteed. He is expected to help replace Robby Anderson, who wasn’t re-signed in the offseason and went to Carolina as a free agent. Perriman was hurt two weeks ago, but had recently resumed running on the side during practice late in camp.
Mims was hurt before camp opened, and only did a few days of individual drills last week. He is likely to have a key role in the offense as a rookie, but some wondered if missing so much on-field work would hurt his ability to make an early impact.
Darnold liked what he saw out of Mims in their first full practice together.
”He’s explosive, quick in and out of his breaks – I think that’s the biggest thing. And then, he’s a big target. Those are all the things you want in a receiver. … He was great today. We’ve just got to continue to build off it.”
Crowder, who led the team with a career-high 78 receptions last season, was on the team’s initial injury report with a hamstring issue but participated fully.
Rookie running back La’Mical Perine (ankle) did not practice, and is expected to be out a few more weeks.
Quarterback Joe Flacco was a limited participant after passing his physical over the weekend and being added to the active roster. It’s still uncertain if he’ll serve as Darnold’s backup Sunday, or if the Jets might elevate David Fales or Mike White from the practice squad.
”We’ll kind of see how this week goes,” Gase said. ”But I’m not really surprised just watching him work and kind of seeing how he’s been progressing. It’s just like one of those injuries, you’re just never sure how fast or how slow that’s ever going to be. So, I think just seeing him throwing on the side and doing his conditioning and the workouts that he’s been doing, I’m not surprised that he’s practicing.”
Safety Marcus Maye (calf) was limited, as were linebacker Tarell Basham (ankle), left guard Alex Lewis (shoulder) and linebacker Avery Williamson (hamstring).
NOTES: Jets players voted for their team captains: Darnold and OT George Fant on offense; Maye and NT Steve McLendon on defense; and S Matthias Farley on special teams. … Darnold said chairman/CEO Christopher Johnson joined the team meeting and they discussed their approach to how they’ll handle the national anthem before games. The Jets were one of the NFL teams that canceled practice after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin last month. ”For us, it’s just whether guys want to kneel, whether guys want to stand, whether guys want to stand with a fist raised, everyone on this team is going to support one another, no matter what they do,” Darnold said. ”That’s really the gist of it. We are all a team, we’re all supporting one another no matter what we do.” Darnold said he had yet to decide what he will do during the anthem.
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