Injuries Rock the Receiving Core

Wideout Brad Smith was one of two receivers to miss practice Thursday
Wideout Brad Smith was one of two receivers to miss practice Thursday

This Thursday afternoon practice was marked by who wasn’t on the field at wide receiver, not the other way around.

Just seven days ago, wideout Braylon Edwards was on the practice field for the first time as a Jet.  But on this Thursday, the receiving core looked a whole lot thinner than the addition of Edwards should have allowed.

Wideouts Jerricho Cotcery (hamstring) and Brad Smith (quad) did not practice once again today, leaving Edwards, and David Clowney as the starting options for quarterback Mark Sanchez on the outside during the workout.

It remains unclear whether or not either will play, but head coach Rex Ryan stated in his daily press conference that it “doesn’t look good” for Cotchery playing Sunday when the Jets welcome in the 1-4 Buffalo Bills.

It looks like we may have to wait another week to see what an offense with Edwards and Cotchery on the same field can do.  All signs point to J-Co not being on the field Sunday, which coupled with the absence of Smith leaves it up to David Clowney to step up once again.

He had a rock-solid game Monday night in Miami, and showed the big play ability we’ve all been waiting to see in a game that actually counts in the standings.  We’ve now seen the lows (the Twitter fiasco) and the highs for Clowney, and Monday night’s performance might signal a turning of the corner for the young wideout.

The absence of Jerricho Cotchery presents an opportunity for David Clowney

The potential is certainly there – he has the breakaway speed that is so tough to defend against in the NFL, especially with Edwards now on the opposite side and tight end Dustin Keller in the middle.  With Cotchery most likely down for the second straight game, we might be witnessing the emergence of Clowney we’ve all been waiting for.

A solid third receiver would make the offense even more dangerous when Cotchery returns, but it certainly will be interesting to see how “Mr. August” takes advantage of the opportunity in front of him in Cotchery’s absence.  So far, so good.


Danny Woodhead has been moved to wide receiver on the Jets practice squad
Danny Woodhead has been moved to wide receiver on the Jets' practice squad

Practice squader Danny Woodhead was greated with a new number before today’s practice; 83.  With all the injuries at wide receiver, Woodhead has moved to that position on the practice squad, just in case he’s needed for Sunday’s matchup against Buffalo.

“It kind of all happened fast,” Woodhead said.  “I got a call from my running backs coach [Anthony Lynn]. He told me they’re going to try me out there. “I’m out there to do whatever the coaches want me to do. This is not a ‘me’ thing. Any way I can help us out, I’m going to help us out.”

“I think we’re looking at him as he might give us a better option right now if our receivers are down,” Ryan said.  “There’s a chance Jerricho and Brad won’t play. He could be a slot receiver,” Ryan said. “Sometimes you stumble into it, but he did a great job being Wes Welker when we were preparing for New England. When we put him in the slot, he was tough, he really was.”


Defensive end Shaun Ellis (knee), and tackle Damien Woody (foot) also did not participate in practice today, with cornerbacks Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland (ankle) limited in the day’s activities.

On the positive side, linebacker Larry Izzo (hamstring), safety Jim Leonhard (knee), safety Kerry Rhodes (knee), and wide receiver Wallace Wright (knee) participated fully in practice for the second consecutive day.


Some look at the rain being dumped on Florham Park Thursday as a damper on practice, but Coach Ryan feels dealing with poor conditions is a positive for his club.

“Any time you get a chance to work in the elements, things like that, just in case it ever happens, it’s good to get out there,” he said.

With rain in the forecast for this weekend, it’s nice for the club to get used to being out in the wet conditions as they prepare for the divisional game against the Bills.    Coach Ryan did remark, however, that the team will be practicing indoors at the Jets’ training facility on Friday.

Be sure to check back to JetsInsider tomorrow for updates from Friday’s workout.

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