The Jets will be without two key members of their offense for a while, possibly the remainder of the season.
Adam Gase said right guard Brian Winters dislocated his shoulder in Sunday’s win over the Giants and could require surgery. Gase said it “will be hard to get him back this season.”
Tight end Chris Herndon fractured a rib in his season debut and is out indefinitely. “He’s going to be out an extended amount of time,” Gase said. “We’re trying to figure out how long that’s going to be. We’re asking a lot of questions, making sure that we’re putting him in the right position going forward.”
Gase said Herndon had X-rays at MetLife Stadium after the game and had a CT scan Monday morning. The way Gase described it, Herndon fractured either rib 1 or 2, making it more serious than one of the lower ones.“That’s in a place where it could be an extended period of time, where if something happened, it could hurt him worse than what he already is,” he said.
It’s been a rough season for Herndon, who is in his second year. He was expected to be a major player in the offense, but he was suspended the first four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and then missed the next four with a hamstring injury. Herndon played 18 snaps and had one catch for 7 yards against the Giants.
“Me and Chris are pretty close,” quarterback Sam Darnold said. “This one sucks. I know he’s going to attack rehab like he always will. It’s never good when you lose a weapon like Chris.”
“I feel bad for Chris,” Gase said. “He was excited to get back out there. For whatever reason, he couldn’t catch a break this year.”
Ryan Griffin will continue to start at tight end. He leads the Jets with three touchdown catches. Tom Compton is expected to replace Winters. Compton stepped in for him when he left Sunday’s game.
The offensive line, which has had plenty of changes because of injuries, played better against the Giants than in previous games. The return of left tackle Kelvin Beachum had an impact.
The Jets could start their sixth different offensive line combination Sunday against the Redskins. They hope this group can stay together and build some consistency and continuity.
“Our whole O-line is very efficient,” Darnold said. “Brian being out is a loss for us. To lose a guy like that, a player like that, it’s a bummer for this team, this offense and the whole organization. But it is next man up.”
In other injury-related news, Gase said running back Le’Veon Bell, who sat out the last drive against the Giants because of sore ribs, should be fine. Linebacker Brandon Copeland has a muscle strain by his hip and will see a specialist this week.