As of Sunday, the Jets are exactly three weeks away from kicking off their 2020 season at Buffalo.
Adam Gase is well aware of the time crunch he and his team are under with just 21 days left until they meet a division rival in Week 1.
“Time is kind of our enemy,” Gase said on a Zoom call after Saturday’s practice, “and we have to do everything we can to just get ourselves ready.”
The Jets are approaching the dog days of NFL training camp when injuries mount, but they got a much-needed boost before practice.
The team announced that linebacker Avery Williamson — who missed all of last season with a torn ACL — and tight ends Daniel Brown and Ryan Griffin had been moved from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to the active roster and participated in individual drills on Saturday.
“We’re going to take it as fast as we can, but at the same time be smart. That probably makes no sense,” Gase quipped. “We’re trying to be smart with this. When we bring guys back, we want to make sure they’re there for the duration. We don’t want to have, ‘Hey, we brought him back too fast’ and we lost guys for more time.
“Today [Saturday] was the first step as far as [Williamson, Brown, and Griffin] on the field with the team. They went through a lot before they got here, and now we’ll just keep progressing.”
Gase realizes what the Jets could have if Williamson is anywhere near his level of play from recent years.
“This guy has been productive throughout his whole career,” Gase said. "The guy has an unbelievable attitude."
Williamson, who was not made available to the media after practice, registered 120 combined tackles, including three sacks, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one interception in 2018. He averaged 99 tackles a season from 2014-2018, including his first four seasons in the league with Tennessee.
"I’m excited to see him back on the field," Gase said. "I just wanted him to be able to get in those team drills and get his feel back. It’s been a year. I’m hoping his confidence is high as far as the work he did on the knee — that he doesn’t have to worry about it — that he just goes out and plays fast.”
The Jets are also hoping for big things from Brown and Griffin at the tight end position, as well as their ability to help younger teammates.
“I’m always trying to pick their brain, and they always give me good feedback,” second-year tight end Trevon Wesco said. “They’re experienced guys and they’ve helped me along my way.”
The Jets will need their experienced players to help during an offseason like no other in NFL history with no organized team activities [OTAs] as well as zero preseason games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s just an unusual year as far as how guys were going to stay in shape, and some guys were in better shape than others,” Gase said. “At the end of the day nothing replaces this environment because of the competition — you’re fighting for a job . . . I mean, that’s real. Everybody has to get in shape as fast as possible.”
Notes & quotes: New players on the team’s injury report included: RB Josh Adams (hamstring), DL John Franklin-Myers (groin), LB Patrick Onwuasor (knee), and DL Jordan Willis (knee). “We’re at that part of training camp,” Gase said. “It’s the next-man-up mentality. This is where it starts.” . . . Gase told reporters there would be a game-controlled scrimmage sometime this week, but was coy about when exactly it would be. “I’m not going to tell you,” he said. “Just show up. We’ll let you know when you get here.”