Jets Running Back Le’Veon Bell
Running back Le’Veon Bell has not played since the season opener against the Buffalo Bills. His injury was grossly mismanaged by head coach Adam Gase and training staff alike.
In the first half of Week 1, Bell injured his hamstring when he landed awkwardly on the turf. Recklessly, the Jets decided to have him return in the second half of the game, only to re-injure his hamstring.
It seemed as though the Jets sacrificed him for one game. The opener wasn’t a must-win but truly set the tone for the season.
Le’Veon Bell was placed on injured reserve after the game and has been out since.
In his short stint this season, Bell carried the ball six times for 14 yards.
Linebacker Blake Cashman
Also set to come off of injured reserve is linebacker Blake Cashman. Cashman was drafted by the New York Jets in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He showed potential in his rookie season but hoped to build on that.
Cashman played well in camp and took some snaps in Week 1’s opener against the Bills. However, that would not last long. In the first quarter, Blake Cashman injured his groin and didn’t return to the game. Both Bell and Cashman were placed on injured reserve after the game.
Right now, the Jets need help at the linebacker position. Avery Williamson has not lived up to the hype of his return. Neville Hewitt has been solid but isn’t a full-time starter. For some reason, Alec Ogletree still has received playing time despite his mediocre performance.
Wide Receiver Vyncint Smith
Wide receiver Vyncint Smith is also set to return this week, hoping to add much-needed speed to the offense.
Smith was arguably the team player that missed the most time this season. It all started when he began dealing with a core muscle injury. On August 18th, Smith underwent surgery to repair the injury. He has been sidelined for seven weeks. On September 7, he was placed on injured reserve, not making him eligible to return until Week 3 or 4.
Smith was the team’s fourth wide receiver and showed potential last season. In 13 games, Smith caught 31 receptions for 225 yards, averaging 13.2 yards per catch.
Rookie Defensive End Jabari Zuniga
One member from the injury-riddled 2020 Jets draft class will make his return this week. That is defensive end Jabari Zuniga. The Jets selected Zuniga out of Florida in the third round, in need of a pass rusher.
In his final season at Florida, Jabari Zuniga played in only five games, recording 12 tackles, three sacks, and 5.5 tackles for loss. The games he missed were due to an ankle injury.
The injury obviously set up a red flag for anyone who drafted him. But, the Jets decided to take that risk.
Anyways, Zuniga missed all of training camp due to a quad injury and was placed on injured reserve on September 7. Coming into Week 5, he is a complete unknown.
The Jets are in dire need of a flashy pass rusher as the team lacks a dominant edge presence. Jordan Jenkins hasn’t proven his worth after signing a one-year prove-it deal this offseason. Quinnen Williams has flashed but hasn’t maintained consistency when getting after the passer. Anyone opposite Jenkins hasn’t effectively been able to get to the quarterback.
I’m not saying that Zuniga has to become the next John Abraham at this moment. But, even a little flash of potential can give coaches and fans alike hope for his future in green in white.
The team is finally getting some reinforcements this week at the right time. Most importantly, Jets running back Le’Veon Bell. Especially when Sam Darnold, Mekhi Becton, and others are expected to miss some time.