Joe McKnight is dealing with a separated shoulder.
It was not known when McKnight, who leads the NFL in kickoff return average, was injured in the Jets’ 45-19 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. He played into the fourth quarter, but is also still healing from a hyperextended right elbow that sidelined him for a game.
McKnight sat until garbage time. My guess is that is when he suffered his injury just becauseI am not really sure why the Jets would have put him in only when the game was out of hand if he was already hurt.
I would like to see more of McKnight, but that does not seem to be in the cards no matter his health. He clearly has more burst than LaDainian Tomlinson on screens and outside runs. I also like him better than Antonio Cromartie on kick returns. Joe had been bottled up recently, but he reads his blocks and changes speeds better. Cromartie has a tendency to just sprint at top speed and run straight forward when he gets it. I also think his most important job with the team is covering receivers so I am not crazy about the injury risk getting hit if it can be avoided.
McKnight's early success also led teams to change their strategy with the Jets, trying pooch and squib kick to keep it away, which resulted in good field position. I am not sure whether Cromartie adds the same dimension. As long as Mike Westhoff is in charge, the Jets will return kicks well, but McKnight did seem to add something extra.