A familiar face is back at wide receiver for Gang Green. Braylon Edwards was claimed off waivers on Tuesday by the New York Jets. He was also cleared to practice despite a hamstring injury that he sustained while playing for his former team the Seattle Seahawks. This injury has been bothering him all season long and he was supposed to sit a few weeks, but the Jets are hopeful he will be playing on Monday against the Tennessee Titans.
"We're not going to put a specific play numbers on him, or whatever, we'll just see how he progresses," Head Coach Rex Ryan said. "Right now, I feel like he's getting better each day. So again, I think Monday night he'll definitely get to play. We'll see how much. That's kind of how I feel about it. I believe he will play."
Last week it seemed very unlikely that the Jets would pick up Edwards contract, especially after his tweet earlier in December. Edwards tweeted, "Don't blame Sanchez. I played there. Blame the idiots calling shots. Mark is a beast and will probe it when given a proper chance."
The Seahawks did not use Edwards often. While in Seattle he played in ten games, but only made one start. His stats for the 2012 season include just eight catches for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Edwards excelled with the Jets during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, making 26 starts over that span. During his two seasons with the Jets Edwards made 88 catches for 1445 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Jets hope they can see glimpses from Edwards' playing days with the Cleveland Browns where he was a Pro Bowl caliber player.
With Stephen Hill not playing due to a nagging sprained knee that happened on earlier in the year against the Miami Dolphins, Edwards will be a crucial part of the Jets; offense. Tight end Dustin Keller has also been ruled out for Monday, so Sanchez will be without two of his major weapons on offense.
"He is familiar with Mark," Ryan said about the relationship between Sanchez and Edwards. "There is no question about it. He definitely brings back that mentality as a blocker and everything else that we certainly appreciate. Really, it's just the overall thing that we've been kind of banged up at the receiver spot. We were very familiar with Braylon and his attributes that he brings to the table. He's a smart guy and obviously, very competitive. I absolutely do love the way he blocks. So you consider all those things, when you bring a guy in. "
Tim Tebow is expected to play on Monday night as the Jets upgraded him for the game against the Tennessee Titans. Gang Green will benefit from the return of their seldom-used and largely ineffective Wildcat offense this week. Also, if Sanchez begins to slip again they will have Tebow suited up and ready.
"I feel good about him," said Ryan of Tebow's health status. "I think he practiced well again today, so he looks good and he'll be ready to go on Monday."
If Tebow somehow isn't ready to play the Jets always have their third option at the quarterback, the man who anchored the Jets comeback victory against the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago. Greg McElroy went 5-7 for 29 yard and a touchdown during his lone game of the season against the Cardinals.
But, for now, the starting quarterback job belongs to Sanchez. Last week against the Jaguars Sanchez had a productive week going 12-19 through the air for 111 yards. The key stat was he did not throw an interception.
The Jets now have an outside shot at making the playoffs. The addition of Edwards will give Sanchez a much needed weapon on offense, if he is not bothered by his hamstring injury. The Jets have been injuriy riddled all season, but now have a chance to finish the season at 9-7 and possible make the postseason.