The Jets have been decimated by injuries this season and they received more bad news following their win over the Giants as TE Chris Herndon and RG Brian Winters will both miss an extended period of time.
Herndon, who played his first snaps of the season Sunday following a suspension and hamstring injury, fractured a rib in the club’s 34-27 triumph over their cross-town rivals.
“It was one of the earlier plays,” Adam Gase said. “He didn’t say anything to me, I think the doctors looked at him after the game. We did S-rays at the stadium then he had a CT scan this morning and it looks like its fractured someplace. It’s one of those first or second ribs that’s in the place where it could be an extended period of time where if something happened, it could hurt him worse than what it already is.”
The second-year tight end recorded one catch for seven yards in his season debut and would have also had a 30-yard reception, but it was nullified by a holding penalty. As a rookie in 2018, the 6’4”, 253-pounder finished second on the team with 39 receptions, 502 yards and four touchdowns, and became one of Sam Darnold’s go-to targets.
“It’s obviously not ideal when you go through something like that and you go through a hamstring and you’re excited to go back out there and play ball,” Darnold said of Herndon. “Me and Chris are pretty close, so this one sucks, but it is what it is. I know he’s going to attack rehab like he always will. It’s never good when you lose a weapon like Chris.”
In addition to Herndon, right guard Brian Winters re-dislocated his shoulder and it is doubtful he will return this season. Gase said surgery is a possibility, but the team is waiting to see what the seventh-year pro wants to do. Veteran Tom Compton, a seven-year veteran, replaced Winters in the lineup and is expected to start for the Jets this weekend in Washington.
“I think, for us, it’s a next-man-up mentality,” Darnold said. “Our whole O-line is very efficient and Brian being out is a loss for us. Brian is a really good player, a really smart player. To lose a guy like that, a player like that, it’s a bummer for this team, this offense and really the whole organization.
“I think Tom Compton did a really good job preparing throughout the week and it showed during the game. When he got his chance, he got in there and let’s go. Everyone has to have a next-man-up mentality and they’ve done a really good job of that this year.”
See Best Images from the Matchup Against the Giants
In other injury news, Gase said LB Brandon Copeland will be limitedthe first few days of practice this week after straining a hip muscle. Gase also said everything is “grey” with LB Neville Hewitt (neck/knee), who’s been cleared to practice, C Ryan Kalil (elbow/knee) and CB Darryl Roberts (calf).
The Jets’ next four opponents have a combined record of 8-28 and the 1-8 Redskins are up next, but Gase said the team needs to be dialed in one week, one day at a time.
“It’s all going to be about Wednesday showing up, coming back to work, wiping the slate clean, focusing on winning the next game and really preparing for the next game,” he said. “If we’re looking anything past that, we’re in the wrong spot. We need to stay focused on the task at hand. We need to figure out a way to keep improving every day and not really worrying about what’s going on record-wise and things like that. We need to play better than the week before.”