C.J. Mosley kept showing up in the picture for the Jets on defense Sunday at MetLife Stadium, making play after play against Buffalo. But after the middle linebacker left with a groin injury in the third quarter, the season opener took a U-turn in the wrong direction for them.
The Jets were on their way to a 17-16 loss after Mosley helped create a 16-0 lead.
“It was really frustrating,” he said about having to watch his team falter. “It’s always hard when you want to be out there with your brothers and you couldn’t, especially the way it ended.”
Mosley made the Pro Bowl four times in five years with Baltimore. The Jets opened the vault for him in the offseason with a five-year, $85 million deal, including $51 million guaranteed.
Besides making plays, he’s the one making sure the defense is organized out there. Now he hopes to be back for the next game, a Monday night matchup at home against Cleveland.
“That’s pretty much the plan,” Mosley said.
The Jets will be happy if the plan goes into effect.
Mosley scored six of the 16 points on a 17-yard interception return off a pass thrown by Josh Allen in the first quarter. By the time he had to leave with 3:59 remaining in the third quarter, he also had recovered a fumble, broken up two passes and made five tackles, four of them solo acts.
“Next man up,” safety Jamal Adams said.
The Bills then went on their 17-0 run with rookie Blake Cashman coming on for Mosley and making his NFL debut.
“I mean, it didn’t affect us,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “We rotate in practice. We have guys going in and out. We have the utmost faith in all the ’backers.”
Mosley limped off after a play on which he broke up a pass in the end zone from Allen to John Brown on second-and-12 from the Jets’ 25.
“I’m all right now,” Mosley said. “It hurts a little bit to plant. That’s pretty much why I couldn’t go back in.”
Buffalo settled for a field goal, cutting the deficit to 16-3. The Bills continued the comeback with touchdown drives of 85 and 80 yards in the fourth quarter.
“So we’ve just got to take this lesson in stride,” Mosley said. “We’ve got to be accountable for everybody . . . as far as the defense.”
Fastest to reach 8,000 yards from scrimmage:
Le’Veon Bell 63
Eric Dickerson 64
Edgerrin James 65
LaDainian Tomlinson 65
Jim Brown 67
Marcus Allen 68