Josh Baker was never going to be the biggest name or threat on this Jets offense, but his absence will most certainly be felt. Baker is one of those sneaky good players who slips out into a pocket of open space and makes timely plays, quarterbacks love to have the types of security blankets that Sanchez just lost.
Reports are that Baker tore his ACL in his right knee and will require season ending surgery, he was scheduled to have an MRI today to see the full extent of the injury. Earlier today Baker’s agent Howard Shatsky tweeted, “The NY Jets r waiving-injured TE Josh Baker, he’ll revert 2 their IR list. Josh Would like 2 thank the Jets 4 the opportunity they gave him.”
Baker hurt his knee when the Panther’s Josh Norman helmet slammed into Baker’s leg on a pass in the end zone. It didn’t look good when it happened and now we have news confirming our suspicions. The Jets offense was already dealing with enough injuries, even before Dustin Keller came up limping with a hurt hamstring, and the loss of Baker will be a bigger problem than many people realize.
There is a bit too much being made about the “lack of weapons,” on the Jets offense right now, they hardly have the most explosive talent in the league but they have enough playmakers to do what they want if everyone can stay healthy and the offensive line can protect Sanchez and open up lanes for running backs. But having said that losing Baker deprives the Jets of having one more weapon to rely on. Baker was most dangerous on little delay and slip screens where he finds open space and gets there, those are the hardest plays to defend because the defense is already on their heels and in a reactive mode.
The Jets were already extremely thin at tight end and lacked a true blocking tight end, although the switch to Austin Howard at right tackle and Wayne Hunter as the backup and jumbo set tight end could make their need for a blocking tight end not quite as dire. Still you’d have to think the Jets will take a look around the league to see if they can get anyone to fill the now vacant role left by Baker.
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