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Jets' Darryl Roberts injures calf at practice

Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts during a preseason game

Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 8, 2019. Credit: Daniel De Mato

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The Jets are expected to be without another defensive starter on Sunday.

Cornerback Darryl Roberts suffered a calf injury in practice Wednesday, and Adam Gase made it sound as if the non-contact injury will sideline him for some time. “I just know those are tough ones to come back from that fast,” Gase said.

The Jets already were shorthanded at cornerback.

Trumaine Johnson was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday with injuries to both ankles. With Roberts likely out, the Jets are left with Brian Poole and Arthur Maulet (both of whom primarily are nickel corners), Nate Hairston and Maurice Canady, whom the Jets claimed off waivers from the Ravens on Wednesday.

The Jets also could activate rookie Bless Austin from the PUP list, which they would have to do by Friday. Austin, a sixth-round pick, had been rehabbing from knee surgery, but he’s been practicing the last couple of weeks.

“He’s done a good job in practice,” Gase said. “He’s doing everything he can to get himself ready. We’ll see how it goes today and what they want to do upstairs with our situation.We need anybody that knows the defense . . . Hopefully we can get him up and everything’s good, give us another guy.”

The Jets also have been mixing and matching at inside linebacker since Avery Williamson was lost for the season with a torn ACL and C.J. Mosley suffered a groin injury in the first game of the season. Neville Hewitt has missed the last three games with a neck injury and hasn’t been cleared for contact. James Burgess and Brandon Copeland, usually an outside linebacker, have been playing inside.

The Jets signed Paul Worrilow on Tuesday, but he hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2017.

Herndon nears return

Chris Herndon took another step toward making his season debut this week.

Herndon has been limited in practice the last two days with a hamstring issue, but he’s doing more and more and no longer is thinking about his injury when he’s running and cutting. The second-year tight end needed to leap that hurdle.

“I’m already at that point,” he said. “I went through those stages week by week. It was a pretty decent process. After practicing this week, running routes fully, blocking fully, doing special teams, I feel pretty good.” He later said, ''I feel great.''

Herndon was a main target for Sam Darnold last season but was suspended the first four games and then hurt his hamstring a few days before he was eligible to return.

Adam Gase is encouraged by Herndon’s progress this week.

“He looked different to me [Wednesday],” said Gase, who speaks to reporters before practice. “He looked way more confident, way more confident running. We saw burst, saw a little more what you saw in training camp whereas the week before, he was holding back.

“[It] was the first time he looked like the guy I saw in training camp and in the spring.”

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