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Robert Saleh Provides Injury Update on New Jets WR Mike Williams

Chargers' Former Wideout Is Expected to Be Healthy for Week 1


After finishing No. 31 in the NFL in total offense and yards per attempt last season, the Jets added a playmaker on the outside with a history of stretching the field in WR Mike Williams.

"He's a dynamic receiver," HC Robert Saleh said Monday morning at the NFL's League Meetings in Orlando. "We've been a big fan of his for a while. You say 50/50 ball, but it's more 70/30 when it goes up to him. He's a dynamic athlete, dynamic receiver, very confident when he goes up and gets the ball. To be that complement to Garrett [Wilson] and the rest of the receiving room, to the receiver room will be a good deal."

Williams, the 2017 No. 7 overall pick out of Clemson, led the league in 2019 with an average of 20.4 yards per catch and has averaged more than 14 yards a catch each season from 2018-'22. According to Next Gen Stats, Williams' plus-421 receiving yards over expected on vertical routes in that span ranks third in the NFL, behind Davante Adams and Justin Jefferson. Jets QB Aaron Rodgers, a former teammate of Adams, has thrown for the most vertical passing yards in that timeframe.

Williams had a short and productive 2023 season -- he tore his ACL in Week 3 at Minnesota in the final two minutes of the third quarter after he reeled in 7 passes for 121 yards and a 49-yard touchdown. He totaled 12 receptions, 128 yards and 1 touchdown in the two games prior to the injury.

"He's got a long way to go," Saleh said about his recovery from injury. "He's on the same timeline that Breece [Hall] had. They're very similar injuries, same timeframe. Speaking with Mike, he knows he's got a road to trek, but at the same time, if he does it the right way, we're very confident that we'll have them ready for Week 1."

Hall, who tore his ACL in Week 7 of the 2022 season, began last training camp on the physically unable to perform list. He was activated in mid-August and did not play in the preseason, but was ready for the season opener. Williams told reporters last week he's on schedule to play in Week 1, but his availability in training camp remains uncertain.

He joins a room that includes Wilson, second-year players Xavier Gipson and Jason Brownlee, and another big-bodied receiver in Allen Lazard. Saleh said he expects Lazard to be more productive in 2024 after he was a healthy scratch at times throughout last season. Coming off a career-high 788 yards and 60 catches with the Packers, Lazard totaled career-lows in catches (23) and yards (311).

"He's not the first person or the last that signs a big deal in the offseason and doesn't meet the expectations at which he came through," Saleh said. "Empathetically, not speaking for Lazard, but you're changing scenery, there's a lot of different things happening in your life. It just doesn't work out the way you want to and it snowballs into what it became. I know he's working really hard. He's down in Dallas, I believe, and he's working his tail off. I know he's coming back with a renewed mindset to fix a lot of wrong."

Saleh did not say the Jets are done adding to the receiver room. This year's draft class is rich with WR talent at the position and there are still viable free agents,including former Jets WR Corey Davis, who was released from the reserve/retired list after he applied to be reinstated. Davis retired last August.

"We're in constant talks with him," Saleh said of Davis. "Love C.D. Tremendous athlete, tremendous man, tremendous locker-room presence. He knows how we all feel about him and our door's always going to be open for him."

See photos of the Jets new receiver visiting the training facility for the first time.

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