It was announced earlier today that the New York Jets‘ tight end, Kellen Winslow Jr., has been suspended for the next four games due to failing a drug test in which he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. This would explain the earlier reports as to why Winslow was mysteriously absent from practice today.
Winslow’s suspension will prove to be yet another big blow to the Jets’ passing game, as he has accumulated 17 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns on the year, and is the Jets’ prime target in the red zone. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who took major steps forward in his game last week against the Atlanta Falcons, will now be without another prime target to go along with the Jets’ No. 1 wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who is currently out with a hamstring injury.
While the Jets are playing a 0-4 Pittsburgh Steelers team this Sunday at home in Metlife Stadium, Winslow’s loss could prove fatal and cause for a typical let down game. The Steelers are an old team and have fully shown that throughout this season. However, they have had two weeks to prepare for the Jets, due to last week having a bye, and the Jets having less than a week to prepare for the Steelers, since their last game against the Falcons was on Monday Night Football.
The Jets’ defense is their biggest strength and can definitely neutralize the Steelers’ offense if they are on their game, so it will be up to Smith and the Jets’ offense to get the job done. Not only will that be a difficult task for Smith, due to Holmes’ injury and now Winslow’s suspension, but you cannot forget who the Steelers’ defensive coordinator is. Dick LeBeau is just as great a defensive mind, or even better, than Rex Ryan, and if he can get the Steelers’ defense to make life difficult for Smith, then I can see this game turning into a chess match in which Rex ultimately loses.
You can say that Winslow will not make a difference since Smith only threw to him one time against the Falcons, but you also have to take into consideration that Winslow’s only catch last week was for a one yard, red zone touchdown, and that the Falcons’ defense is ranked near the bottom of NFL. The Steelers might currently be 0-4, but they have enough defensive tricks up their sleeve to grind out a win this Sunday against the Jets if their offense cannot get going.