Jets may get rare positive with offense finally becoming whole
Jets fans have had a rough week.
A rough season, really.
OK, it’s been a rough decade.
It’s possible, however, that on Sunday they’ll have something — albeit minuscule — to look forward to.
Baby steps when you’re 0-6.
It looks like the Jets will have their full starting receiving corps on the field at the same time in a game for the first time when they play the Bills at MetLife Stadium.
If nothing else in this miserable season, that should give Jets fans a glimmer of hope, a slight peek at something positive for a change.
Barring an 11th-hour setback, Sam Darnold, who’s missed the past two games with a shoulder injury, is poised to play again after practicing this week and on Thursday declaring himself ready to go.
It, too, appears that the Jets are going to get their first look at rookie receiver Denzel Mims, their second-round draft pick who’s been sidelined with a hamstring injury since training camp.
Jets coach Adam Gase has yet to confirm that Mims will be activated for Sunday’s game, considering Thursday’s practice was only the rookie’s fifth full team session as a pro. But when you’re the only winless team in the league and your offense has produced six touchdowns in six games, what are you waiting for?
Figure on Mims being on the field Sunday, ready or not.
Mims making his NFL debut opens the chance that the Jets will have all three of their top receivers on the field at the same time for the first time — as long as Jamison Crowder can play with his sore groin.
Breshad Perriman last week returned from the ankle injury that cost him three games. The only question mark is Crowder, the team’s top receiver who was removed from Wednesday’s practice as a precaution with a slight groin pull and didn’t practice fully Thursday. But Gase said Crowder told him he’d be fine for the game.
“Having those guys back is great,’’ Darnold said Thursday. “To have a talent like Denzel in there and ‘BP,’ Crowder, [tight end Chris] Herndon, [Braxton] Berrios … to have the whole squad back is nice to have those guys to throw to.’’
The biggest wild card here is Mims, who by teammates’ accounts stood out in practice Thursday with a few flashy catches.
We know what Crowder can do. Perriman, slowed by his injury, has yet to unleash his big-play ability. Mims, and how quickly he can acclimate to the pro game on only six practices, is the biggest unknown.
“Anytime you can get a guy that we were kind of looking at as somebody that was going to be your starting receiver, to get him back in practice … there’s excitement,’’ Gase said Thursday. “I keep trying to remind myself, [Thursday was] his fifth day of actual team practice in the NFL. I’ve had conversations with him, ‘Hey, there’s a lot of things that you haven’t seen. You’re going to be learning a lot quickly.’
“The more he can do the better. He’s got incredible length, range, he can go up and get the ball, speed. He has all those traits that you’re looking for in a guy that can be a really good receiver.’’
He showed that in practice Thursday.
“He made two or three good catches in seven-on-seven [drills] and a couple catches in the team drills,’’ linebacker Jordan Jenkins said.
“We saw some things where he went up and made a catch and even went downstairs and caught a ball low,’’ Darnold said. “It was really good to see that and you see the talent for sure. As he continues to learn the game plan and put things together, he builds his confidence and plays really well.’’
Jenkins, who plays defense, sounded as fired up as an offensive player at the prospect of having the full receiving corps playing together for the first time.
“It’s definitely exciting to look forward to,’’ Jenkins said. “They [the offense] definitely got the short end of the stick. It’s seemed like every other week an important piece to the offense was injured. It’s good to see guys that you never really played with or never really got to work with out there making plays.
“I’ve heard a lot about Perriman, I’ve heard a lot about Mims, but [now] I get to see them making plays.’’
It’s something for bewildered and beleaguered Jets fans look forward to, a reason to turn on the TV set on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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