The New York Jets suffered two crushing blows to their secondary this past weekend with injuries to Dee Milliner and Dexter McDougle during Sunday’s practice. Both figured to play a major role in the secondary when the season got underway. Milliner was set to be the first cornerback on the roster, while McDougle was pushing to become a starter opposite of him.
Milliner’s diagnosis is not as dire as what was first reported as it is only leaving him out 3-4 weeks with the possibility of playing in Week 1 vs the Raiders. McDougle on the other hand is most likely lost for the season with a torn ACL. While Jet Nation is in an uproar over the loss of two potential starting cornerbacks in only one day of practice, along with the fact John Idzik did not sign any other major cornerbacks to the roster this offseason, the situation is not as bleak as it may seem.
The New York Jets still have one of the best defensive minds in the NFL in head coach Rex Ryan. If anyone deserves a bit of respect for what can be done with very little on the defensive side of the ball, it is him. The Jets also have one of the best front 7s in the league, led by rising stars Muhammad Wilkerson, Demario Davis, and Sheldon Richardson.
The injuries to Milliner and McDougle are hard to swallow in only one day of practice, but in the NFL, there has to be the next-man-up persona of a team in order to survive the season. With cornerback Kyle Wilson mostly suited to play in the slot in nickel situations and with Dimitri Patterson reportedly suffering from multiple injuries himself, cornerbacks Darrin Walls, Brandon Dixon, Ras-I Dowling, and Johnny Patrick have a huge opportunity ahead of them to make the 53 man roster. Even safety Antonio Allen got his chance at CB in practice, and did quite well, having two interceptions on the day.
Injuries can never be overlooked in any sport, but injuries do not mark the end of the season, especially before it has even started. For the remaining cornerbacks on the roster, this marks a huge opportunity for them to showcase what they can do. The Jets may even find a diamond in the rough in the process. Jets fans all know, if it wasn't’t for Mo Lewis, no one would ever care that Tom Brady played in the NFL.
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Tags: Antonio Allen, Brandon Dixon, Darrin Walls, Demario Davis, Dimitri Patterson, Football, John Idzik, Johnny Patrick, Muhammad Wilkerson, New York, New York Jets, NFL, Rex Ryan, Sheldon Richardson, Tom Brady