The New York Jets’ upset win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday was marred by the loss of slot receiver Jeremy Kerley, a fan favorite and by far the team’s most productive receiver this season. Kerley was blocking on a run play when he was knocked down and crashed into by several players, and he suffered a dislocated elbow in the process.
However, the Jets are lucky to find out that Kerley’s injury is not a season ending one, and he could return to action after a few weeks. This is huge news for the Jets, as Kerley was going to be a key player for them as make a playoff push in the second half of the season. Kerley has 28 receptions for 347 yards and 2 TDs, all tops on the Jets. He has become a player that Geno Smith trusts in key situations, and Kerley also leads the team in first downs.
Kerley will be replaced in the slot by Greg Salas, who had two catches for 57 yards against the Saints. Salas is a promising player, but the Jets would obviously prefer to have Kerley in the lineup. However, the Jets will get Santonio Holmes, Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Winslow back from injury and suspension following this week’s bye, making the receiving corps as whole as it has been since the start of the season.
The Jets’ schedule is full of winnable games, and they are currently sitting in the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC. The playoffs are no longer a dream, but rather a very realistic goal for this team. However, the Jets need to have a more consistent passing attack down the stretch, as they rank just 26th in the NFL in pass yards per game and 27th in scoring offense.
The return to health of their receiving corps will make a huge difference, and it will be a big asset in Smith’s development. The Jets should be thrilled that Kerley will still be able to contribute to those goals, and he will still have a big impact on the Jets’ playoff chances.