Todd Bowles playing the numbers game

Could Rontez Miles or Dee Milliner be added to the mix this week?

FLORHAM PARK: If Todd Bowles could, he'd activate everyone. The Jets would take the field on Sunday with a 90-man roster. Four-deep at every one of the 22 positions. Two punters? Sure, why not!

But that's not exactly how the NFL works. And as Bowles is finding out, the 'numbers' game is about as important as anything pertaining to the Xs and Os. 

Dealing with a combination of injuries and those players now healthy enough to play, Bowles has been put into a position of 'Do I, or don't I' with who to activate. The Jets have just two healthy safeties with Calvin Pryor still recovering from an ankle injury, so that would mean Rontez Miles should get called up from the practice squad, right? 

"Maybe," Bowles said. 

But then what about Dee Milliner? You know, the team's first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. He's now healthy enough to play and eligible to be activated off of the short-term IR. Is he ready to get called up?

"If we can make room for him, we'll bring him up," Bowles said. 

But bringing up Miles from the practice squad and activating Milliner from the short-term IR would mean the Jets need to free two spots on the team's 53-man roster. 

That's, uh, not exactly an easy call. 

Two of the Jets three quarterbacks are dealing with injuries, one of their running backs hasn't played a down in over a year, they have just one full back, their top three receivers all missed practice Wednesday, they have just two tight ends and their starting center and starting guard each missed practice Wednesday. 

...And that's just on the offensive side of the ball. 

So, where exactly is the fat that can be trimmed to add Milliner and Miles to the mix? Well, if any can find it, Bowles would like to be told. 

"There's a lot of thought that goes into it," Bowles said. "You gotta play the pluses and minuses. It's a matter of want, and a matter of need. You need to see if the matter of want out-weighs the matter of need. Every case is different and everybody gets called up at a different time. 

"We talk about it, we put our heads together and we try to come up with the best possible decision."

And that best decision? Well, it hasn't been figured out just yet. 


Connor Hughes is the New York Jets beat writer for The Journal Inquirer and He can be reached on Twitter (@Connor_J_Hughes), or via email (

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