Florham Park, N.J.– With the problems the Jets are having concerning their lack of depth on the offensive line it was easy to understand why they were holding out hope that Rob Turner would be able to recover from his injury and rejoin the team this season. But yesterday they put an end to their wishful thinking as they placed Turner on the injured reserve list, thus officially ending his season.
Turner had been taking up a spot on the 53-man active roster because the Jets were hopeful he could return, but now they know they will have to look elsewhere to address their offensive line problems. Yes the Jets still have Colin Baxter, Vladimir Ducasse and Caleb Schlauderaff as backups, but it’s no secret Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum can’t be confident that those are they men for the job.
Is it time for Tannenbaum’s alter ego, ‘Trader Mike,’ to make an appearance? Maybe he will, maybe he won’t, but he damn sure better try. It’s not as if there are a bunch of quality offensive linemen being dangled by multiple teams, but Tannenbaum should be making calls to everyone to see if he can acquire a solid linemen, even if it costs him more than a fifth or sixth round draft pick.
I have no idea what offensive linemen could potentially be had at this stage in the season, but Tannenbaum has to be in the process of finding that out as these words are being typed. My suggestion, start with the teams that are currently launching their ‘Suck for Luck’ campaigns.
With there being a few truly terrible teams, which no one would blame for tanking the season in order to draft Standford’s Andrew Luck, maybe one of them has a decent offensive linemen Tannenbaum can pry away from them and help boost their chances at drafting the highest rated quarterback coming out of college since Peyton Manning (with many scouts actually having Luck rated higher than they had Manning).
If that doesn’t work, try some of the middle of the pack teams who might be interested more in shedding salary than having a quality offensive lineman on an average at best team. With the trade deadline rapidly approaching Tannenbaum doesn’t have much time, but if a move isn’t made the Jets will likely be dealing with major line issues the rest of the season.
The offensive line was having plenty of problems even before the injury to All-World center Nick Mangold and even if Mangold can come back 100 percent healthy for the Ravens this week the line will still be a problem. Wayne Hunter has turned in a disappointing performance so far this season and unless he can turn it around in a hurry opposing defenses will continue to key on him as the weak link.
Not having Turner available also hurts the Jets even if Hunter started playing at an elite level because the Jets now lack that extra big, tough quality backup lineman to bring in on Jumbo sets. So even in the best of hypothetical situations the loss of Turner for the season is still devastating news and it’s time for Tannenbaum to make a move to seriously upgrade the line.
One player who is still out there is ex-Giant Shaun O’Hara, who can play multiple positions on the line. O’Hara is a more than quality veteran player who may not be the caliber of player he was a few years ago, but could definitely still be a very solid backup.
Whether it’s O’Hara or a surprising trade, it’s clear something has to be done and the responsibility for accomplishing this task falls on Tannenbaum’s shoulders. The depth on the line isn’t a new problem that just popped up out of nowhere, it has been talked about ad nauseam for months now and if Tannenbaum continues to ignore it then his detractors will have a sure-fire case to explain why the season didn’t turn out like the Jets were hoping it would.
With Turner being placed on IR (and Jeff Cumberland also being lost for the season) the Jets activated tight-end Josh Baker to the 53-man active roster and they also signed rookie WR Michael Campbell to the practice squad.
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