Jets veteran RB Bilal Powell strained his calf in Sunday's 17-14 victory over the Browns and his status is day-to-day. Depending on the health of Matt Forte (turf toe) and Powell, rookie running back Eli McGuire could earn the starting nod in Week 6 against the Patriots.
In his first five professional games, the 5'10", 214-pound McGuire has averaged 5.2 yards on his 34 carries. The Jets also have Travaris Cadet from a depth perspective, a player who had 40 receptions and four receiving touchdowns last season in New Orleans.
"Well, it'd be the next man up," said head coach Todd Bowles. "Obviously, we have everything in right now, so Eli will carry a load and we'll go from there. But it's early in the week so we'll see how they progress."
AFC East Kings
With the Patriots coming to town this weekend for the first of two matchups this season, Bowles and his players know they have a tough test on deck.
"Well, they're scary because they're still winning," Bowles said. "They are still the same Patriots. You have to knock them off the ladder. They are kings of the division right now, they won the Super Bowl. We have to come out, work on us, play hard and go into the game and try and compete and win."
The 3-2 Patriots lead the NFL in total offense (419.4 ypg) and they rank third in scoring at 29.6 points a contest.
"They are who they are," said linebacker Demario Davis, who recorded six tackles, a sack and four QB hits in his return to Cleveland. "They have one of the best quarterbacks in the game, a lot of weapons at tight end, running back and receiver. They have a good offensive line that can protect him. It's going to be a tough challenge for our defense. We just have to continue to execute. When we execute, we play at a high level so we have to be ready to do that on Sunday."
Ride The Wave
The Jets continue to point to their halftime session at Oakland as a turning point. They haven't lost since Week 2 and with the club on a three-game winning streak, the players are continuing to take a unified stance while stressing accountability.
"Something we've been saying on the team is it's a wave right now," said defensive lineman Leonard Williams. "We're on a unity wave of being with each other and playing for each other and playing hard and fast. We just have to keep riding that wave."
They've found different ways to win recently including a three takeaway performance in Cleveland.
"We have momentum going our way," said Davis, who made a critical fourth-down stop in the final stanza . "It's just like in a game when you have momentum, you have to seize the moment and just continue to ride it when you have it."
Brick by Brick
Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse has added to his already impressive resume in his short stint with the Green & White. In Sunday's win over the Browns, Kearse reeled in four catches for 38 yards that included a 24-yard touchdown to seal the win with 8:30 remaining in regulation. Acquired on September 1, Kearse leads the Jets with 22 receptions and three touchdowns. The sixth-year vet is also tied with Robby Anderson for the team lead with 220 receiving yards.
"It's an ongoing process," Kearse said of his familiarity with the playbook. "It gets better each week. I felt like I kind of got a pretty good grasp on it from when I first got here, so now it's just about getting on the details, the small stuff that makes a difference. Continuing to just harp and study on those whether it's splits or ways to run certain routes or timing stuff. It's an ongoing process, but it's definitely getting better each day."