Two players that have been an afterthought thus far in the Jets season may be close to returning to active duty. Wide receiver Devin Smith and offensive tackle Breno Giacomini both began the season on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Under NFL rules, players beginning the season on the PUP list may not practice with the team for a minimum of six weeks. After the first six weeks of the season are over, PUP list players may resume practicing provided they have received medical clearance. As soon as a PUP list player resumes practicing a three-week clock starts ticking, during which the player may be added to the 53 man roster at any time. If the player does not get added to the 53 man roster within three weeks the team must place the player on the Injured Reserve (IR) list.
Both Devin Smith and Breno Giacomini were medically cleared and began practicing last Wednesday, meaning they have until November 9 to be added to the 53 man roster. That would mean both players might return for this week's game against the Cleveland Browns, next week's game against the Miami Dolphins, or the following week's game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Both Smith and Giacomini have been full participants in practice and each could make their season debut against the Browns on Sunday, according to head coach Todd Bowles. Said Bowles:
They’re coming along good. They’re getting their feet underneath them. They’ve got another full week of practice. We’ll see how they’re feeling.
This would be a particularly good week for Giacomini to return to action, as the Jets are suffering multiple injuries at the tackle position. For Smith the picture is cloudier. It is not clear where he currently fits in. Would Smith immediately reclaim his place on the depth chart from last year, as the second outside wide receiver in Decker's absence? Has Robby Anderson and/or Charone Peake surpassed Smith on the depth chart? We'll see shortly if Smith will be prominently featured upon his return.
The impending return of Giacomini and Smith will require the Jets to either cut or place players on IR in order to fit them on the 53 man roster.