The growing bond between New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith and his go-to man Kellen Winslow will have to be put on hold following Winslow's recent suspension. Winslow failed the league's performance enhancing drug test this past week. The NFL's policy on PED's is very strict, enabling them to pass out suspensions with a positive test. Winslow has the option to appeal his suspension, but it seems as if the Jets are preparing to move forward without him.
Winslow's suspension was made public on Friday, October 11th and an NFL spokesperson stated the following.
"Kellen Winslow's suspension begins immediately, said the league spokesperson. "He will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster on Monday, November 4 following the team's November 3 game against the New Orleans Saints"
The loss of Winslow for will force the fourth year Jet, Jeff Cumberland to step up. Filling the shoes of his fellow teammate is nothing new for Cumberland. The former University of Illinois standout was able to take the bulk of playing time from Winslow during this past Monday Night's game. Winslow, who has had a history of knee issues in the past, was battling swelling and pain in his knees, resulting in limited playing time against the Falcons. Also, No. 87 replaced Dustin Keller last year after Dustin went down to injury for most of the season. Cumberland has done a decent job replacing teammates; making the Jets comfortable in calling his number once again.
In addition to the promotion of Cumberland to starter for the duration of Winslow's suspension, Gang Green claimed tight end Zach Sudfeld off waivers from the New England Patriots. Sudfeld will most likely be on the sideline, acting as Cumberland's backup for this week's home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sudfeld will add depth to the Jets' depleting receiving corps. The Jets' will be without their two veteran targets Winslow and Santonio Holmes, once again, forcing their young talent to step up.