When the NFL schedule comes out, I always look for three things.
1) The opening game of the season
3) The Bye week
Personally I thought the bye week would come far too soon. Todd Bowles commented yesterday that he always prefers a week 8 bye week, something right in the middle. Once you're through 7-8 games, you usually have a lot of players carrying small knocks, injuries that can limit their effectiveness but not rule them out completely, think back to Deckers injury last year.So having that mid-season break is a great time to catch your breath, evaluate and get ready for the final push.
However this year, the Jets are hurting early. With only four games having been played, the bye week is coming at the perfect moment. To be effective, the Jets need all their offensive weapons on the field, that's been highlighted over the last two weeks. Looking at the injury list, I'd rather us get everyone back now. we didn't escape the Dolphins game without a few problems. Here is a list of players who will be thankful for the bye week right now.
Eric Decker - Still not 100% after missing Week 3, although he was effective in week four. We need him to be 100% as this gives the Jets two legitimate top-end targets.
Chris Ivory - Looked great in week four after missing week 3 with an injury. It's imperative that we have Ivory at 100% going forward.
Chris Owusu - He was effective playing on the outside in the first two weeks of the season. He's missed weeks three and four and may miss more time, but a week off to get him right will be very valuable.
Calvin Pryor - Left the game in London with a bruised knee. It's unclear how serious this will be, but he's shown a lot of signs of improvement in his 2nd year.
Leonard Williams - Also left the game in London. Early news is it's a sprained ankle. We'll let you know more on this one later today when we get the news through.
David Harris - Left the game for the second week in a row. He's started the season on fire and the coaching staff will hope his quad injury isn't too serious. He seems to think he'll be fine.
Bilal Powell - Also left the game in London. He had a groin problem that resulted in him sitting out the majority of the game. Having two weeks to rest that is never a bad thing.
Darrelle Revis - Luckily he was able to play the entire game in London and it looks as though he's back to 100%. However he was struggling in week four.
Willie Colon - Didn't make the trip to London due to a knee injury. Brian Winters filled in well, but I wouldn't want to rely on him for an entire season. Willie should be back relatively soon.
Jeff Cumberland - Also missed the game against the Dolphins with a concussion. He should be back for the week 6 game. We haven't used tight ends much this year as receiving threats, but you always want that option.
Trevor Reilly - Missed the game in London with a finger infection. He was starting to carve out a nice role for himself, so he'll be pleased to see the bye week, as he likely won't miss anymore game time.
Darrin Walls - We haven't needed much from Walls this year, but he's been suffering with a hamstring problem and we'll be keen to get him back for depth purposes.
Those are the main injuries, but we also have two more reasons to be thankful for the bye week.
Sheldon Richardson - Fresh from his 4 game suspension, he rejoined his teammates yesterday. We'll need to get him back up to speed after missing a lot of time, and having a bye week to sort that is a lucky break. He's been in meetings, so it's more about getting him in physical shape than teaching him the defense.
Devin Smith - Devin missed the majority of the pre-season schedule and the first few weeks of the season. He was thrust into action last week thanks to Deckers injury, but he continued to see time in London. it's obvious for everyone to see that Smith and Fitzpatrick don't have that chemistry yet. They now have two weeks to create that before they face another NFL defense.