This is a good week, if there is one, for the Jets to have injuries on their offensive line. Their next opponent, the San Francisco 49ers, have been ravaged with injuries to their front seven. Their best pass rusher, defensive end Andre Carter, will miss the game with a back injury. The team's other starting defensive end, John Engelberger is battling an abdominal strain. The player who was supposed to rotate with them this year, Andrew Williams, is out with a broken leg. Otis Leverette, signed right before the season to replace Williams, has a severely sprained ankle. Things are so bad at defensive end for the 49ers, they have been forced to use their best defensive tackle, Bryant Young, at defensive end.
To make matters worse, the team's talented middle linebacker, Derek Smith, will miss the Jets game with an ankle injury.
So as you can see, the Jets should be able to get by in this game with two backup guards (Jonathan Goodwin and Brent Smith).
You know what you are getting with Smith. He's athletically limited, but smart and tough. He will be able to do a serviceable job. As for Goodwin, he's more of an unknown. There were times during his first couple of years in the league where the Jets seemed disappointed in his development, and close to giving up on him. However, this summer, he seemed to finally "get it" and now looks like a solid lineman.
Jets assistant offensive line coach Dave Szott worked closely with Goodwin this summer.
"It took him three years to get where he is today, and now he is solid player and if he keeps progressing like this, he will be a starter in this league in short order," said Szott. "Going back a couple of years, you wouldn't have thought that.
"I think with Jonathan, it was more of a confidence thing. He's had a lot of success at center, and now you see that confidence spilling over to guard. You see him with his agility and leverage, you know he had the potential to play at this level. He's had some success now, and he's a solid inside guy for us." . . .
Cornerback Donnie Abraham is having a great year, and a big reason why is the Jets much-improved pass rush. Abraham was a Pro Bowl cornerback in Tampa Bay playing behind an outstanding pass rush. He such a terrific ball-hawk, that a quarterback under duress sets him up for scenarios for him to make a lot of plays. He had three passes defensed against the Bills, and returned a pick for a touchdown against the Dolphins . . .
The Jets other cornerback. David Barrett, gave up a long touchdown to speedster Lee Evans, against the Bills. According to Jets cornerback Terrell Buckley, Evans was guilty of pushing off at the end of the route, and that is what gave him the separation from Barrett that enabled him to catch the ball . . .
Jets rookie safety Rashad Washington deserves a lot of credit for his toughness. He suffered a painful foot injury that required a lot of treatment during the Bills game, but went back in during the fourth quarter. This same injury will likely keep him out of the Jets next game . . .
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