The Jets have made a change at the top of their training room roster.
The Jets head trainer John Mellody, who’s been with the organization for the past 24 years, has been replaced by his longtime assistant, Dave Zuffelato, according to an ESPN report. A league source with knowledge of the situation confirmed the move, which will leave Mellody with the team as a consultant.
Mellody started with the Jets in 1996 as an assistant trainer during the Rich Kotite regime and spanned eight head coaches — Bill Parcells, Al Groh, Herman Edwards, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, Todd Bowles and Adam Gase, the current head coach. He served as the head trainer under the regimes of Mangini through Gase.
The Jets, who finished 7-9, endured a particularly dramatic injury-ravaged season in 2019, forced to place a league-high 21 players on injured reserve, including linebackers C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson, receiver Quincy Enunwa and cornerback Trumaine Johnson — all expected to be key contributors. Quarterback Sam Darnold missed three games with mononucleosis.
Only seven of the 22 projected original starters played every game. It’s not known whether the rash of injuries was a part of the team’s decision to make the change, nor is it known whether this was a move made by Gase, general manager Joe Douglas or both.