Santonio Holmes could end up being the key to the New York Jets offense this season. The veteran wide receiver brings legitimacy to the Jets receiving corps, which is especially important with rookie Geno Smith slated to start at quarterback. Santonio Holmes sat out of practice on Thursday as he continues to recover from surgery on his foot. The Jets are hoping that Holmes will suit up for the season opener at MetLife Stadium on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The New York Jets need as much firepower as possible in their receiving corps on Sunday, which makes the status of Santonio Holmes even more crucial. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers able to take away any Jets receiver with Darrelle Revis, there will be a trickle-down effect if Holmes cannot play – that is, the Buccaneers will then be able to lockdown whichever receiver they deem to be the number two threat after Santonio Holmes, greatly weakening the available options for Geno Smith.
With or without Santonio Holmes, the Jets probably aren't planning on an explosive day through the air. Geno Smith is making his first start against a secondary that includes Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron. Even if Santonio Holmes does play, it will be his first time in game action since the injury and he would likely be on a play count.
The defense will be leaned upon heavily, but the running game will be especially critical for the Jets on Sunday. Granting Geno Smith the ability to work off play-action would be huge. Santonio Holmes being healthy would give the Jets a boost, but ultimately the team has to find a way to make Geno Smith's day easier.
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