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Jets OTA injury update

NFL: New York Jets-OTA Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Jets head coach Todd Bowles provided updates on a number of injuries after Tuesday’s OTA session.

Teddy Bridgewater

On how Bridgewater has looked over the four OTAs...

He has shown no signs of weakness with the knee. He is moving around and taking every rep and every snap like everybody else. So, he is progressing and getting better.

All reports have been positive on Bridgewater. We won’t know how much his 2016 knee injury has affected his mobility until the preseason begins, but it stands to reason he will be ready to go. The Vikings were prepared to play him in big games last season.

Lorenzo Mauldin and Jordan Leggett

On what he has seen so far from Lorenzo Mauldin

He is running around in shorts and a t-shirt. There is not much more you can ask for right now, but he is understanding the defense better and the biggest thing is he is healthy. So, we just hope he keeps progressing forward and we will see when the pads come on.

On his expectations for Mauldin...

I obviously want everybody to play well, but first of all his health. Obviously, he is healthy and getting back into football form. We want to see him make plays.

On Jordan Leggett coming back from his knee injury...

He’s been good. I mess with him all the time. He gets us a bunch of touchdowns in shorts and t-shirts, which is great, but when the pads come on, he just has to stay healthy. It’s good to see him running around healthy. It will be great for him to get into training camp as well.

These are two young guys whose 2017 seasons were derailed by injuries. Both are trying to prove they belong in the NFL. Mauldin is in the final year of his rookie contract so his situation is more desperate on paper, but Leggett is no lock to make the roster either unless he shows he belongs in training camp.

As with anybody this time of the year, it would be wise to not read too much into performances during OTAs. With that said, hearing these guys are playing well is certainly better than the alternative.

Quincy Enunwa

On how Quincy Enunwa has looked coming off of his injury...

Right now, we are cautious. He doesn’t have a helmet right now, but he is running around, he is catching the ball and he is running his routes fine. I think the tell-tale (sign) will be when we put the pads on and go from there.

On how he sees Enunwa fitting in the offense...

He is versatile. When he gets to camp, obviously his health is more important, and once that gets to be fine, I think we can fit him in very well. We’re excited to have him back once he gets back, and he is excited to be back so we will see when the pads come on.

I worry more about young, unproven guys missing developmental time in the offseason than I worry about proven players. While I understand most of Enunwa’s production came in one season, I think it’s a reasonable bet that he will be productive if healthy. The only priority is getting him healthy.

Marcus Maye and Devin Smith

On if he expects Marcus Maye to be reading for training camp...

He should be.

On if Maye will participate at all in the spring...

Probably not in the spring.

On how close Devin Smith is to participating...

I won’t know until training camp.

On if Smith is being held out for the spring...


On how much Smith is an unknown because of his injuries...

That makes him a big unknown. He’s injured, and there’s not much he can show when he’s injured. Obviously, he has had some serious injuries. (It’s) not his fault. Sometimes things like that happen. Until he gets out on the field, it is going to be an unknown. First and foremost, he has to get healthy and then we’ll judge him if he can get on the field.

On if Smith is facing an uphill battle with a crowded receiving corps...

It is crowded. It is the old saying: “You can’t make the club in the tub,” but sometimes serious injuries happen and you can’t get around them. He is doing everything he can to get back. So, we will see.

These less proven guys are the types I regret missing offseason practices.

For Maye, I’d call it a small bump in the road. Many players make their biggest improvement in the offseason between years one and two. This is less than ideal. With that said, Maye is coming off a solid rookie season so Jets fans can expect quality play.

In Smith’s case, injuries seem to have derailed any chance he had of becoming a player. It wasn’t a guarantee he would have turned into a quality NFL receiver even had he stayed healthy. His game was unrefined out of Ohio State and in need of much technical work.

Unfortunately, in addition to missing the better part of two seasons, these injuries have cost him important developmental time in offseason practices and training camps. A lot of it isn’t his fault, but that is the way things go in the NFL sometimes.