After the Jets' final full practice of the week, head coach Todd Bowles announced that WR Eric Decker has a partial tear in his rotator cuff and he won't play Sunday vs. the Seahawks.
"It kind of sucks at this point. It's early in the season and I felt like this is going to be a year where I can avoid injuries, but that's something I have to deal with, said Decker. "The plan is to move forward, rehab, stick to what they have for me and see where I'm at."
During the Green & White's 1-2 start, Decker has averaged 21.6 yards per reception and scored two touchdowns. He has had a TD reception in each of the Jets' past eight home games.
"My position has to be able to have a range of motion and the strength to catch balls outside my body and separate with my hands.," said Decker, who was limited to one reception last week in a 24-3 loss to the Chiefs. "Getting to the point where I'm comfortable enough to be able to do that and be able to execute that, that's kind of the end result I want to get to."
Bowles said it's too early to tell if Decker will need surgery down the line, characterizing the right shoulder injury as week-to-week.
Anderson, Ross in the SpotlightWith both Decker and rookie WR-KR Jalin Marshall out with shoulder injuries, rookie Robby Anderson and recent signee Jeremy Ross will be counted on to make immediate impacts.
"That's one thing about this room all training camp, all year, is we have depth. We have some guys who can play," Decker said. "There are some young guys who are going to get out there and play more snaps than they've had all season, but I have confidence they'll execute what's called and make some plays when their number is called."
Anderson, a speedster from Temple who led the NFL in receiving yards this preseason, registered his first two professional receptions at Arrowhead Stadium.
"I'm treating it just like how I prepared for every other game," Anderson said. "I knew that every other game, I was a play away from being in, so I've just been preparing, working hard on and off the field. I'm just taking mental reps in the film room, working on tendencies and preparing myself for the moment where I can contribute and help the team."
Veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has been in Anderson's ear, preparing the Temple product for the increased workload ahead.
"He's coming over and telling me what he wants me to work on and what he's thinking," Anderson said. "Just getting that chemistry and working with a great professional is helping a lot and I'm learning from him."
Looking Forward to the ChallengeThe Jets have prepared all week for a full-strength Russell Wilson. The Seahawks' QB, who needs 150 yards to move into eighth place on Seattle's all-time rushing list, is a unique duel threat.
"This is a test to see how good our team is, playing these types of quarterbacks that can run and force DBs to play man-to-man so you can't spy the quarterback," said CB Buster Skrine during an appearance on Inside the Jets. "We're looking forward to these challenges and we're looking forward to the whole season. So we'll take it one game at a time and we just need to stack W after W."
If Wilson breaks contain, the coaching point for DBs is to latch onto the receiver who is closest to you. Doug Baldwin (20-276-2TD) might not have prototypical size, but he has become a true No. 1 wideout for a balanced attack.
"He plays inside and outside. He's the starter in base," Skrine said. "They have a lot of good receivers and Jimmy Graham, who's stepping back up this year because he's not hurt," Skrine said. "They have a lot of threats and it's definitely going to be a challenge, but this is the type of challenge we're looking for."
Technically SoundSome of the complementary pieces change, but the 'Hawks annually field one of the best defenses in football. Entering Week 4, Seattle is No. 1 in total defense (250.3 yards per game), No. 2 in scoring (12.3 points per game) and No. 2 in pass defense (162.7 yards per game).
"You see a defense that obviously plays together and has played in big games together. But for us, we're going to have to be technically sound and have our assignments perfect because we can't make a mistake," said RB Matt Forte. "If you aren't perfect in your run blocking or your scheme like you block the wrong guy, they're going to make a play on you. So we're going to have to be technically sound and have the fundamentals and our assignments correct. Then we have to keep grinding from there because they are a tough, hard-nosed defense."
Cover 3For years, the Seahawks have excelled with their Cover 3 look that typically features hard-hitting Kam Chancellor in the box and the rangy Earl Thomas roaming centerfield. All zones eventually turn to man coverage, so the Jets will have to win their one-on-one matchups.
"Seattle is kind of a one-high team. They're going to bring either of those Pro Bowl guys in the box and kind of play the run and try to stop you," Enunwa said. "They have a great front seven and their DBs are talented as well."
Best Images from Friday's Practice of Seahawks Week