It's always tough for NFL teams to operate during an outbreak of injuries. But the hopes are always for when those injuries subside and players regain their health and are reinserted into game plans.
The Jets may be at that point with veteran wideout Breshad Perriman, who returned to practices this week after missing three games with an ankle injury. And this after Vyncint Smith, another speed WR, came off IR to begin practicing again last week.
"Anytime you get guys that you thought were going to be your starters back in the lineup, I think everybody would be all for that," Head Coach Adam Gase said Thursday, "especially when these guys are vertical-speed guys and guys that when they get the ball in their hands they can cover a lot of ground quickly. That was noticeable yesterday with Breshad being back. It just brings a different element to our offense."
Gase hasn't yet declared Perriman or Smith or even rookie Denzel Mims, who returned to practice after missing the first five games with a hamstring injury, back in uniform to serve as targets for QB Joe Flacco at Miami on Sunday. But Perriman has been limited in both practices this week after sitting out the previous nine practices and Weeks 3-5 with the injury he sustained in the opener at Buffalo.
"It's just a blessing to be back out there," Perriman said Wednesday. "It's always hard sitting there watching your teammates play. I'm feeling good. I think Sunday looks pretty good for me right now."
Mims, meanwhile, was sidelined throughout August training camp. When his other hammy flared up during practice before the Bills game, he sat that out and then spent the next four weeks on Injured Reserve. He's not listed on the daily injury report yet but he was cleared to return to practice Wednesday.
Gase wasn't ready to paint Mims into the Miami picture just yet.
"It was good to see him gets some reps," the coach said, adding, "I don't want to put a timetable on it, but at the same time I think we have looked at big-picture-wise, keep evaluating him every day, make sure he's in the right spot whenever that time comes to activate him.
"I'm just like everybody else — the sooner he gets into a game situation and involved in the game plan, the better. But at the same time, throwing him out there when yesterday was his first reps of actual team, we've just got to be smart with that aspect of it."
So fans will have to continue to await the Friday injury report and monitor social media and the Sunday pregame shows for information on all three speedsters' availability.
Perriman agreed with Gase about the vertical element he can supply to the Jets offense when he's ready to let it rip in game conditions again.
"Yeah, that's definitely the strong point of my game. That's what I really like doing," he said, adding about his general expectations for his return, "Man, I just want to go out there and do my job, go out there and play fast, and when the ball comes my way, make every play."
If that occurs Sunday in South Florida, the Green & White will gladly accept any and all contributions.