The Jets may be without Jamison Crowder for their Week 1 game.
The veteran slot receiver tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Crowder’s status for next Sunday’s game in Carolina is very much up in the air at this point. But it appears to be an isolated case, according to an NFL source.
Among the factors that come into play regarding when Crowder can return to the Jets are his vaccination status and when he tested positive for the coronavirus. NFL protocols state that if he’s unvaccinated, Crowder would be out at least 10 days. He would need two negative tests at least 24 hours apart to return to the team if he’s vaccinated.
There already was some question as to whether Crowder would be able to play next week anyway. He missed practice on Tuesday and Wednesday with what the Jets said was a minor groin issue. Robert Saleh said Thursday that Crowder was "day-to-day."
Crowder was the Jets’ most reliable and productive receiver last year on a 2-14 team that had difficulties moving the ball up and down the field and scoring touchdowns. But the Jets upgraded the receiving room in free agency, adding Corey Davis and Keelan Cole. They also drafted exciting playmaker Elijah Moore.
If Crowder can’t play, it likely means more snaps for Moore, who can line up in the slot or on the outside.
Moore was expected to be involved in the offense regardless because of his versatility and ability to get separation from cornerbacks and break away for yards after the catch.
A second-round pick out of Ole Miss, Moore showed great chemistry with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. Moore made some spectacular plays in training camp before suffering a quad injury that kept him out for two weeks, including all three preseason games.
The Jets also have veteran slot man Braxton Berrios and second-year wideout Denzel Mims in their very deep receiver group.
Crowder is in the final season of a three-year, $28.5 million contract he signed with the Jets. He’s caught 137 passes for 1,532 yards and 12 touchdowns the past two seasons.
After being a focal part of the offense the past two seasons. Crowder had a relatively quiet camp and preseason. All the improvements the Jets made at receiver led to them asking Crowder to take a pay cut this year. His base salary was reduced in half, from $10 million to $5 million.