Injuries in the NFL always present opportunities for other players. Nowhere is that as true as on the 2013 New York Jets roster. Injuries to Santonio Holmes, Mike Goodson, and Clyde Gates all gave opportunities to players who were previous out of the league. Those players have since turned into some of the Jets best contributors.
WR David Nelson was signed as insurance after Santonio Holmes suffered a hamstring injury. He has since been the Jets most reliable pass catcher. He has 15 receptions for 180 yards, and an average of 12 yards per reception. Rex Ryan also commended Nelson on his blocking during Sunday’s game against the Bengals.
The Jets have been searching for a reliable, and consistent kick returner since the days of Leon Washington. And although they worked out Josh Cribbs on numerous occasions in the off-season, it wasn’t until they lost both Mike Goodson, and Clyde Gates to season ending injuries that they were forced to make the move and sign the veteran kick returner. Since he joined the Jets in Week 7, Cribbs has been an excellent special teams player. He has an average of 24.8 yards per kick return, and 10.8 yards per punt return. An improvement over everyone else who has returned kicks in 2013 — the Jets previous average kick return was 22.8, and 9.0 yards per punt return.
Tight End Kellen Winslow Jr was invited to the Jets mini-camp during the off-season on a try-out only basis, he proved himself, and the Jets kept him around. Although he is currently serving a 4-game suspicion for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the veteran tight end has become one of Geno Smith’s most reliable targets, and a player that the offense has sorely missed since he began his suspension 3 weeks ago. Winslow had 17 receptions for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns through the first 5 games.
John Idzik certainly needs to fill many holes in the Jets roster, but he has done an excellent job of finding players who can become valuable assets for the Jets immediately.