Jeremy Kerley might not be one of the most talked about wide receivers in the league, or even on the New York Jets team for that matter. He's rather quiet off the field, and he's certainly not the biggest guy on it at 5'9", 188 pounds. But he could very well be the MVP on our offense.
Kerley's missed three games this season: Week 2 at New England, Week 11 at Buffalo and Week 12 at Baltimore. In those three games QB Geno Smith has a passer rating of 16.9, no touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 40.0% of his throws.
In the other eight games, Smith's passer rating skyrockets to 77.0 with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions and he completes 60.3% of his passes. We're 0-3 without J.K., 5-3 with him.
Might these numbers be explained by the fact that all three of those lesser performances were on the road? Might it be complete coincidence? Perhaps. But coming off a game in which our team converted just once on third down, it's clear that the addition of Jeremy Kerley, who stills leads the team with 28 receptions and 347 receiving yards, would be very welcomed.
Kerley injured his elbow in a gruesome-looking play vs. the Saints and has been practicing on a limited basis using just one arm and wearing a red no-contact jersey, until today when he changed back into white. Certainly that's a great sign for his progress, but as head coach Rex Ryan said this afternoon, it's still like "don't touch him."
"I think when we all saw the injury we'd say there's no way," Rex said of Kerley's chances for returning soon. "We're going to see how comfortable he is. He tried the week before, he wasn't able to go, but he was pushing himself like crazy. He probably pushed himself *too *much. Hopefully he doesn't take any steps back and he's able to play."
If for no other reason, Jeremy wants to return to game action because "it's too cold on the sideline," he said with a smile in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room today.
"It's been hard, especially because we're trying to make this playoff run," Kerley said of sitting out. "Just talking with the guys and everybody's hurting, so you want to suck it up a little bit, but I've got to do what's best for me, just make sure I'm able to get back out there at 100 percent if I can do that."
After what looked like a potential season-ending injury, the fact that we're even talking about Kerley returning at all is very encouraging. Meanwhile, he'll continue to "try to keep playing with it, keep practicing with it," he said. "It's Wednesday, take it to Thursday, Friday, try to practice fully and see how it feels and then make a decision."