One of the biggest questions about the Jets entering this season was their cornerbacks.
The Jets decided to go young at the position instead of signing a veteran or two in free agency. It was a decision that was met with plenty of skepticism and criticism, but it has worked out. Second-year cornerback Bryce Hall has put together a strong season. Rookie Michael Carter II has held his own as the nickel and fellow rookie Brandin Echols had a big game Sunday, highlighted by a pick-six against the Dolphins.
“They’ve done a really nice job,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “I always challenge them that they got to get the ball, that’s the next step that group has got to take, and we did get the pick-six, which was awesome. But that’s the next step, can we go get the football? It is really cool to see them getting their [pass breakups] and playing sticky coverage of man. When we get more rush from the outside and the rush and coverage starts tying in together, it can become a bit special.
“They’ve developed really nicely, and they’ve proven that they’re NFL players and now the next step for them is to prove that they’re NFL difference-makers and you do that by taking the ball, which we did [Sunday].”
The Jets are expected to draft a cornerback early in the 2022 draft. They are often linked with LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr., the top-rated cornerback in the draft, but they may opt to go in a different direction if they believe Hall, Echols and Carter are a starting trio to stick with.
Safety Elijah Riley, who was carted off the field Sunday in a scary scene, is in the concussion protocol and has a chance of playing Sunday against the Jaguars. It is remarkable after Riley was not moving for several minutes after a nasty collision with a teammate.
“Knock on wood, checked out really good at the hospital [Sunday] and we’re optimistic that he’ll be able to return this season, hopefully this week,” Saleh said.
TE Ryan Griffin has a knee injury and Saleh said it is “not looking good for this week.” … DT Quinnen Williams (shoulder) exited the game early Sunday but Saleh said they are not ruling him out for this week. … LT George Fant (knee) missed Sunday’s game, but Saleh said they are optimistic he can return this week. … Saleh had no update on OT Mekhi Becton, who has been out since Week 1 with a knee injury. … The Jets added DE John Franklin-Myers and safety Sharrod Neasman to the reserve/COVID-19 list. They also added practice squad players DT Tanzel Smart, CB Lamar Jackson and WR Vyncint Smith to the reserve/COVID list.