Sam Darnold’s favorite target is ready to make his return.
Slot receiver Jamison Crowder said he should be able to play Thursday night against the Broncos. Crowder missed two games with a hamstring injury after catching seven passes for 115 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown, in the Jets’ Week 1 loss in Buffalo.
"Any time that you can get your best receiver back on the field it gets you fired up a little bit," coach Adam Gase said.
Crowder said he’s been running routes and cutting at the practice facility, and he’s legs feel good. He’s confident that he can play the full game.
"It’s frustrating just not being able to be out there and help as much as a I can in any way possible," Crowder said. "It feels good to know I’m going to have an opportunity to be back out there Thursday."
Braxton Berrios played well in Crowder’s place. Berrios caught 10 passes for 123 yards and the only two touchdowns the Jets scored in those games.
The Jets are getting healthier. Gase said all the players who were limited Tuesday have a good chance at playing Thursday: Mekhi Becton (shoulder), George Fant (concussion), Chris Hogan (ribs/knee), Jordan Jenkins (shoulder), Ashtyn Davis (groin), John Franklin-Myers (knee) and Quincy Wilson (concussion).
Gase also said receiver Jeff Smith, who injured his shoulder in training camp, will come off IR.
Running back Le’Veon Bell and rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims are eligible to come off of IR for next week’s game against Arizona.
Wideout Vyncint Smith may come off as well. Smith could come off now, but he had core muscle surgery early in camp. Gase said Smith has to go through an actual padded practice before the Jets would consider activating him.
Still no Joe
Joe Flacco (neck surgery) isn’t expected to be Darnold’s backup yet. It looks as if it will Mike White for at least another week.
Cleared for contact last week, Flacco said he feels "really good," but "you don’t want to all of a sudden rush something in the last hour." Flacco, who is taking up a roster spot, also is taking advice from the doctors.