The New York Jets have had their fair share of injuries this season, and week 5 is no exception. Going into a tough matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, the Jets will need everyone possible to be healthy in order to pull out a victory, and even then it will be longshot. Last week, we saw a few key players go down against the Titans, including second year wide receiver Stephen Hill (concussion). Here are the major injury updates for the Jets matchup against the Falcons.
WR STEPHEN HILL: PROBABLE
Stephen Hill, who suffered a concussion last week against the Titans on a cheap hit from Michael Griffin, has recovered quickly and will likely be on the field for the Jets against the Falcons. While in most situations they would try to slightly limit his workload, Hill will be looked upon to play %100 due to injuries to other receivers. Fortunately, Hill was a full participant in practice on Saturday after being limited on Friday and unable to practice the rest of the week. Although it will be difficult for Hill to get back onto the field after just one full day of practice, the Jets currently have a dearth of healthy wide receivers and will count on him to get open against the veteran corner Asante Samuel, who will most likely be matched up against Hill.
WR SANTONIO HOLMES: OUT
Holmes has had an up and down season thus far, although right now it appears to be on a downward spiral. After catching just one pass against the Tennessee Titans, Holmes lashed out through the media.
I can’t throw it to myself and catch it. Otherwise, I would.”
Despite Holmes’ lack of productivity, he is still a major part of the offense and is the most targeted wide receiver on the Jets this year. Unfortunately, Holmes has suffered a significant hamstring pull and will be sidelined tonight against the Falcons, and possibly for an extended period of time. While the short term effect of the injury is unfortunate for the Jets, the long-term effect is devasta. ing. This injury will take away at least a couple of weeks of practice for Holmes, which does not bode well for Geno Smith. Holmes is by far the most talented wide out on the team, but Smith has yet to develop chemistry with him and this may further delay or totally abolish the process. There is no doubt that Holmes’ injury will have a major impact, and not just for tonight’s game against the Falcons
WR CLYDE GATES: QUESTIONABLE
It is truly unfortunate to see yet another wide receiver on the injury report for the New York Jets. While Clyde Gates has yet to become a dynamic player on the Jets offense, with Holmes hurt and Hill possibly not being at %100 the Jets could have used him tonight. Gates has been battling a knee injury all week, and was limited in practice for the majority of the week until Saturday when he didn’t even participate at all. If Gates is inactive for tonight’s game, which seems likely, the Jets will have to reach down on the depth chart to recently signed David Nelson to be the number 3 receiver. Also, the Jets will have to utilize their second string kick returner, who, unfortunately, is none other than Kyle Wilson. In four career kick returns, Wilson has averaged just 12 yards a return, and he is notoriously known for his inability to consistently catch the ball cleanly and hold onto the football. Needless to say, Gates’ injury may impact the Jets much more than you would think and the Jets would love to have him on the field today, although that seems unlikely.
TE KELLEN WINSLOW: QUESTIONABLE
Winslow, who is coming off a 6 catch, 73 yard game, is listed as questionable for today’s game against the Falcons. The former Buccaneers and Browns player has also been battling a knee injury, and has rarely practiced all week. It is most likely that Winslow will not be active for today’s game, a huge but not devastating loss to the Jets. While Winslow has been a key member of the offense thus far, Jeff Cumberland is a very suitable replacement. Cumberland showed off his ability last week with a 34 yard touchdown catch, although the 6’4″, 240 lb. athlete has not done much thus far due to Kellen Winslow’s presence. Fortunately, Cumberland can run good routes, catch the ball, and, as we all saw last week, make plays after the catch. Cumberland has yet to break out this week against the Atlanta Falcons, who have been torched by tight ends Jimmy Graham and Charles Clay already this year. While we all hope that Winslow will be active for tonight’s game, if he is not it will not be the most tragic news in the world.
CB DEE MILLINER: OUT
The New York Jets’ first selection in this year’s draft, Dee Milliner, has not lived up to his expectations thus far. After being benched in just his second career start in the NFL, Milliner has been sidelined up until now with a hamstring injury. This is extremely unfortunate for the former National Champion, who was forced to miss most of the preseason with a shoulder. While Milliner clearly has talent and potential, he has yet to show off his capability in the NFL and is now beginning to be labeled by two words football players never want to hear: Injury prone. Milliner’s hamstring will yet again keep him sidelined tonight, giving Darrin Walls another chance to prove himself, although Walls will face a tough test today against Roddy White.