FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Allen Lazard’s season is mirroring the Jets on offense. It started with hope, but it’s been disappointing.
The Jets signed the ex-Packers wide receiver to a four-year, $44 million contract to be their No. 2 option behind Garrett Wilson. Lazard has just 19 catches for 273 yards and one touchdown.
In Monday’s loss to the Chargers, Lazard committed three penalties, had two catches and dropped a pass. He has five drops this season. His 20.8% drop rate is the worst in the league, according to pro Football Focus.
“It’s pretty evident that [it’s] nowhere near where I want it to be from an individual success or a team success standpoint,” Lazard said. “I think it’s uncharacteristic of me.”
When asked why, Lazard said, “I’m not sure it’s one reason or another. I think there’s a lot that has factored into it. There’s always room to grow and things can change.”
Lazard had 100 catches for 1,301 yards and 14 touchdowns the past two seasons combined, but he was catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. That was the expectation with the Jets, until Rodgers tore his Achilles in Week 1 and Zach Wilson became the quarterback.
Robert Saleh said he loves Lazard’s mindset and believes “he’ll come around.” Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said Lazard has to “keep grinding.”
“Allen has a high standard for himself,” Hackett said. “I have a high standard for Allen. I know he’s not pleased with what’s been going on. We’ve asked a lot from him. He’s had a lot of plays. He’s got to work through that.”
Offensive line coach Keith Carter said the Jets moved Max Mitchell to right guard against the Chargers and played Billy Turner at right tackle because of his experience blocking Khalil Mack. Turner didn’t have a good game.
Turner isn’t expected to play Sunday because of a hand injury. Carter said the Jets are still figuring out who their best five linemen are this week.
Special teams coordinator Brant Boyer called it “unacceptable” that his group allowed an 87-yard punt return touchdown Monday that put the Jets in a 7-0 hole. “You try to work all week to stop that from happening again,” Boyer said … Chazz Surratt (ankle) did not practice for the second consecutive day. Jeremy Ruckert (shoulder) and Lazard (knee) were limited.