Bad news for the New York Jets‘ secondary today. It was reported that CB Dee Milliner and CB Dexter McDougle were injured in practice today. Milliner injured his ankle and McDougle injured his knee; both players will need MRIs to access the severity of their injuries.
I predicted after the Jets’ first preseason game this past Thursday that McDougle will be the one to join Milliner as the other starting CB this regular season. However, this unfortunate turn of efforts begs the question, what are the Jets’ other options at the cornerback position? With the lack of talent and roster depth, the team’s weakest position just got more vulnerable. The available CB backups include nine-year vet Dimitri Patterson (who is actually getting over a minor calf injury), five-year vet Kyle Wilson, five-year vet Ellis Lankster, second-year vet Jeremy Reeves, and rookie Brandon Dixon. This isn’t a reassuring fact. Wilson, as the most tenured Jets CB, will have to take the lead if Milliner or McDougle are out for an extended period of time. If it comes to that, it’s probably fair to predict that the team will start the hunt for CB free agents or possible trade deals. There’s also the extreme option of moving one of the safeties to cornerback. But this is unlikely, as the Jets are also dealing with a dwindling set of safeties with SS Calvin Pryor just getting back to camp after sustaining a concussion.
Either way, the Jets are running out of time and options. If the team does need to acquire new cornerbacks, it will take time for them to learn the playbook and get acclimated to the new defense. Let’s hope the injuries aren’t that serious.