Florham Park, NJ - With the Jets set to fly to Kansas City to play the Chiefs they have a long list of things to focus on. The Chiefs are a fundamentally sound football team who don't often tend to beat themselves, Arrowhead Stadium remains one of the toughest places to play and the Jets have some injury concerns that could change the way they game plan for Sunday.
1) Injured receivers - After last week's explosive passing performance against the Bills Ryan Fitzpatrick and company will look to continue piling up passing yards, but the question facing the Jets right now is who exactly is included as that company. Eric Decker practiced for the first time this week, though only limited, but he said he's just dealing with some soreness in his shoulder and he expects to play. Brandon Marshall did not practice again today, and hasn't practiced all week with a foot injury in addition to the knee injury. It feels like Marshall will be a game time decision, obviously if he can't go that will alter the Jets passing attack. They won't admit it, they'll stick with the next man up mantra but it's obvious that, while yes others will need to step up, the offense will look different without it's best receiver. If Marshall can't go it will be a great test to see what Quincy Enunwa can do when defenses can afford to pay more attention to him.
2) Offensive line rotation expansion - So far this season the Jets have stuck with the rotation of Brent Qvale and Ben Ijalana at right tackle. The coaching staff believes Qvale is the better run blocker and Ijalana the better pass blocker and they don't seem to feel the need to pick just one yet. With James Carpenter not able to practice all week and also looking like a game-time decision the Jets might rotate, not only two players, but three different players at the guard spot. Wesley Johnson seemed to hold up pretty well against the Bills last week, but Todd Bowles wasn't as impressed as reporters and said they've been rotating three players in at guard all week of practice and left open the possibility of rotating them all during the game. Dakota Dozier is the second player in that rotation and Bowles decided to keep the third player a secret declining to tell reporters who that player is, but simple process of elimination means it has to be either Brandon Shell or Craig Watts but if it's Watts they'll have to make a roster move to bring him up off the practice squad onto the active roster.
3) Special teams - When facing a team like the Chiefs special teams becomes just a notch or three more important. The Chiefs don't tend to play in a lot of blowouts either way, so one big play can be the difference even more so than usual and with the way the protect the ball and play sound defense a lot of times that one big play can come on special teams and the Chiefs have a hell of a return man that the Jets will have to make sure they keep contained in Tyreek Hill.
"I scouted him. I went town and worked him out," Jets special teams coach Brant Boyer said. "Tyreek is a special, special player, and I loved him as a person. He was a hell of a kid. He's one of those guys, returners, that don't come along very often. He's a thicker built, shorter guy, but he has burst and long speed to match and good vision, great balance. He's the total package. We're going to have our hands full trying to get that kid to the ground this week. He's a hell of a player."
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (email@example.com)null