The Jets are expected to have WR Jamison Crowder (groin), their receptions and yards leader since 2019, back in the lineup against the Titans Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
"He's a veteran presence," HC Robert Saleh said. "He's a reliable route runner, knows all the positions. In those clutch situations, third down, he's someone who can get separation and be a comforting option for the quarterback. But he's won 1-on-1s for a long time in his career and we're excited to have his reliability and veteran leadership back out there."
Crowder, who has experience playing in this offense during his time in Washington, has been limited in practice this week and has 137 receptions, 1,531 yards and 12 TDs in two seasons with the Green & White. Even though Crowder may be up, both WRs Elijah Moore (concussion) and Jeff Smith (concussion) will be out and Saleh said second-year WR Denzel Mims will be active for the first time since Week 1 at Carolina.
"He's going to get some opportunity," he said. "Hopefully he takes advantage of it, and we're expecting him to. He's stacked up a third consecutive week of great, deliberate practice. He's really getting comfortable within the offense. We're excited to see him get his [opportunity]."
Jets Special Teams Takes a Hit
Jeff Smith has emerged as a valuable contributor as one of two gunners (Justin Hardee is the other) on Jets special teams. But he sustained a concussion when he was involved on Wednesday in a car crash while he was on his way to the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Smith did not practice this week and will not play against Tennessee at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
"He's one of our best gunners, so it's a big loss for us," special teams coordinator Brant Boyer said. "He's done a heck of a job in there, he's caused fair catches and he gets down on the field in a hurry and he cuts off the field a lot and does a nice job. He does the job, a good job in all of the phases he does play in. Unfortunately, he hasn't had a bunch of reps because of some of the other phases, because we haven't had the reps we usually do. He does a nice job and just hope he's OK."
Smith, 24, has seen limited duty at wide receiver this season, having been targeted four times with two receptions for 48 yards. At Denver last week, Smith played seven snaps (30%) on special teams.
The Titans come into the game with a change on their special teams, signing punter Johnny Townsend to the active roster because of a groin injury to Brett Kern.
"He kicks a different ball than [Brett] Kern does," Boyer said. "But I still think that he's a very effective guy, he's got a big leg. Certainly, if he's in there\, then there's some adjusting and adjustments to be made. Either way, both of them are solid players, that's for sure. Kern is one of the best in the league in my opinion."
See the Top Images from the Practice Field Leading Up to the Home Game Against the Titans
Morgan Moses: Offense Needs to Start Fast
Through three games in the 2021 NFL season, the Jets have scored 3 points in the first half. Tackle Morgan Moses is part of the mostly veteran line (LG Alijah Vera-Tucker is a rookie), and he wants the offense to match the production the Jets have had on the defensive side of the ball.
"One of the key things is starting fast," Moses said. "The defense is playing outstanding, but we have to find a way to play complementary football. We [the offense] can't be on the field for 30 seconds, punt the ball and put the defense back out there and expect them to hold up.
"What can we do to spell the defense? It's sustaining drives. If we give the defense 5-6 minutes of rest, they come back out fresh. We have to find an identity in the offense running the ball. It doesn't have to be 10 yards a pop. It can be 2-3 yards, rough runs, and then they bump it up to 5 yards and 10-yard explosive runs. The big part is establishing the run, so we can take those shots down the field."
S Marcus Maye (ankle) is out Sunday. He sustained the injury at Denver but played all 67 defensive snaps. Robert Saleh said, "He came in Monday and got a little bit of treatment and still no concern. Tuesday, the pain was elevating and went to get further tests. The tests didn't come in until mid-afternoon Wednesday when [the news] broke. … "It's not a traditional [ankle sprain] and thankfully because of the bye week, he'll only miss a couple of games as opposed to three or four. We're hoping he'll be back for New England." With Maye out, S Ashtyn Davis (foot) and S Sharrod Neasman (hamstring) will make their season debuts Sunday but will be on a pitch count. The Jets plan on using a rotation at safety and the options also include Jarrod Wilson and Adrian Colbert. …
Saleh said he refers to mistakes as "scars" and joked QB Zach Wilson is "suffering every scar you can possibly imagine." He added it's a good thing for the rookie signal-caller and Wilson's confidence has wavered nor has his teammates trust in the signal-caller. Saleh said: "Everyone gets a day, everyone's been a rookie before. And like I said, the young man is talented, he's got a tremendous mindset and when it clicks, everyone will see why he was the second pick in the draft."
Saleh wore a Lacey Township High School t-shirt Friday, honoring head coach Lou Vercillo, who is the High School Coach of the Week. Vercillo is in his 41st season and just won his 300th game. "We're hoping it rubs off a little bit, get some Ws. Lou, hopefully give us one win and we'll get going."