The Jets received a boost in the backfield at Monday's practice as running back Isaiah Crowell ditched the red non-contact pinnie.
After suffering a head injury in the preseason opener against the Falcons, Crowell didn't make the trip to Richmond for the joint practices with the Redskins and he didn't play in the game Thursday at FedExField. Even though the 5'11", 225-pounder was sidelined for about a week, he doesn't feel like he fell behind.
"I was able to watch film and stuff like that," he said. "I just kind of looked at it like a positive to get my body right. I don't feel like I missed out on anything."
While Crowell has a reputation as a thumper, he's flashed in camp at times with his hands. The fifth-year veteran found the end zone against the Falcons on a 16-yard catch-and-run from Teddy Bridgewater. The former Brown, who has totaled 770 receiving yards on 96 career catches, is happy his receiving ability is starting to "open eyes."
"I've always felt like I've been a good receiver out of the backfield, so I don't feel like there was a need to work on it," he said. "I just try to work on staying in the best shape I can."
For the first time in training camp, the Green & White coaches held up play cards and reserves were hard to identify because more than a dozen players had pinnies with different numbers covering their practice jerseys. The cards are used in the regular season to help the units prepare for looks they'll see on gameday.
"We're doing a lot of plays that hurt us and a lot of different plays we're going to practice against that hurt us the last two games that we're working on too," said head coach Todd Bowles. "We're doing a little bit of everything. A little bit of Detroit, a little bit of game plan stuff for us from plays that we know we're going to get that's going to hurt us, so we're practicing a lot of that."
Power and Finesse
The Green & White have a much different cast in the defensive trenches this year than what fans are accustomed to seeing. Both Henry Anderson, who was acquired via trade with the Colts in April, and Nathan Shepherd, the team's 2018 third-round pick, have received significant amounts of first-team reps. Leonard Williams believes his new neighbors down low have been "really good" in practice.
"They both bring a different aspect to the game," Williams said. "Henry is a really good finesse pass rusher with a little more speed. He wants to get a guy on the edge and work on him. Nathan Shepherd is a powerful guy. He wants to use more power moves and push the pocket. Do more bull rush, long arm and more physical pass rusher."
Best Images of the Jets During Monday's Practice at 1 Jets Drive
Veteran cornerback Trumaine Johnson, held out of practices on Saturday and Sunday with a tight hamstring, resumed action with the starters.. Rookie cornerback Parry Nickerson was in pads at practice, but didn't participate in team periods… Wide receiver Tre McBride took some reps at punt returner as Trenton Cannon sat out of practice again… Left tackle Kelvin Beachum received some team reps, but otherwise Brent Qvale protected the quarterbacks' blind side… Right guard Brian Winters returned to practice and had a full workload… DL Steve McLendon, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis and CBs Xavier Coleman and Jeremy Clark did not practice… Darnold, who took the majority of first-team reps again, connected with Quincy Enunwa on a tight-window throw with a few defenders nearby. Enunwa, who has fresh legs, had perhaps his busiest day in camp.… The QB rotation today was Darnold followed by Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown saw a lot of scout-team action… Bridgewater and McBride had a long connection after the receiver went out towards the sideline and broke free from a defensive back on the up… The tight ends had another productive day, especially Neal Sterling. … Darron Lee made a nice play to break up a ball on a short route intended for Clive Walford and outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins had a would-be sack of Bridgewater after a stunt up front.