After Jets cornerback Buster Skrine suffered a concussion toward the end of the first quarter Sunday, rookie Parry Nickerson saw his first taste of significant playing time and finished tied for third on the team with six tackles.
“Just pick up where he left off and Coach always says next man up, so you always have to be ready when your name is called,” Nickerson said. “I was up for the challenge.”
On Monday’s conference calls, head coach Todd Bowles said he thought Nickerson played well, but could be and will be better with the intricacies of the game such as alignment. The 6’0”, 180-pounder, who played on the outside at Tulane, was very productive in college as he tallied 16 interceptions and 47 pass defenses in four years. However, nickel, where Skrine starts, is a new position for the 23-year-old.
“At nickel, you have to aware of a lot of stuff,” he said. “It’s basically like a small linebacker spot where you have to know what coverages you have for travel, what coverages you have to stay, run fits and having great eyes. Those little things make it more challenging than outside corner.”
Nickerson could register his first career NFL start Sunday against the Colts as Skrine is in concussion protocol. Nickerson, who’s relatively quiet off the field, is an extremely passionate player.
“Off the field, I’m a very chill guy. But when it’s gameday, it’s a whole different person, especially when I’m out there on the field,” he said. “It’s just a feeling like a lion out there. I take the field with a positive mentality and feel like I play every snap to the best of my ability and try to help the team win.”
The Jets have a pass-happy opponent coming into MetLife Stadium in the Colts and quarterback Andrew Luck, who leads the NFL with 245 pass attempts. The Colts also feature a receiving corps that could be without T.Y. Hilton (chest/hamstring) in addition to tight ends Jack Doyle (hip) and Eric Ebron (shin/quad/ankle/knee), all of whom did not practice Wednesday.
“I’m seeing a lot of pass plays, similar concepts to previous teams,” Nickerson said. “I feel like on those previous games, teams watch film on that and take those explosive plays from those games and try to implement it in their gameplan.
“I feel like they have a good receiving corps and have some pretty good concepts as well. But at the end of the day, it’s going to be about your eyes, having your eyes on the right key and being in the right position.”
Bowles said there is no update on CB Trumaine Johnson, who didn’t practice with a quad injury. RB Isaiah Crowell suffered an ankle injury against the Broncos and did not practice because due to soreness. WR Charone Peake (hamstring) won’t play Sunday, but the rest of the players will be monitored throughout the week.