TODAY'S PAPER
28° Good Morning
28° Good Morning
SportsFootballJets

Jets' depleted secondary takes on Andrew Luck and the Colts

Trumaine Johnson is doubtful and Buster Skrine is out.

New York Jets defensive back Trumaine Johnson (22)

New York Jets defensive back Trumaine Johnson (22) breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway (11) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Cleveland. Photo Credit: AP / Ron Schwane

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sure, the Colts are 1-4 and hobbled by injuries, and their star quarterback still is working his way back from shoulder surgery that cost him the 2017 season.

But this is Andrew Luck we are talking about, and he already has thrown 245 passes in five games, so we know he is not being shy.

This might not be the best week for the Jets to be without two of their top three cornerbacks. That is the challenge they face, though, as they look to even their record at 3-3 on Sunday.

When the injury report came out Friday, it listed Trumaine Johnson as doubtful with a quadriceps injury and Buster Skrine out with a concussion, leaving only Morris Claiborne healthy among the first three corners. (Also, safety Marcus Maye (ankle, foot) is questionable.)

That means Darryl Roberts likely will start in place of Johnson, as he did last week, with rookie Parry Nickerson — a sixth-round pick out of Tulane — helping in the slot.

The wild card is Rashard Robinson, who last week came off a four-week suspension for violating the NFL’s substance- abuse policy. Juston Burris and Derrick Jones round out the cast of corner candidates.

“We’ll be all hands on deck,” coach Todd Bowles said.

Bowles said Robinson was allowed to be around the building during his suspension and should not have any trouble being up to speed if needed.

Roberts has some experience, starting seven games during the past three years. Bowles said he is confident and tough and “understands the scheme very well.”

Said Roberts, “I just go about the game the same way regardless, prepare the same way as if I will be starting or not.”

Regarding Luck, he said he still sees in him the star he was before the shoulder problem arose.

“He still looks pretty good to me,” Roberts said. “He’s smart, he’s been around a long time, he has an IQ for the game and he can make all the throws.”

Nickerson said his only real experience with Luck other than recent game video study is watching him on television.

“I feel like he’s a great quarterback, he’s smart, he makes great decisions and he’s obviously great at scanning the field,” the rookie said. “He just has that veteran mentality even though he’s been out with an injury.”

In keeping with the modus operandi of a secondary so self-assured that it gave itself a nickname — “New Jack City” — Nickerson said he does not expect anyone to cower from the challenge.

“It’s just that group of ours: We like to be ready when our name is called,” he said. “I feel we’re very confident.”

Notes & quotes: DL Leonard Williams practiced after missing a day with a sore back . . . RB Isaiah Crowell (ankle) was limited and is questionable. Asked if his team-record 219 rushing yards Sunday has led to any more endorsements, he laughed and said, “I prefer not to talk about that.” After a crude touchdown celebration in Week 3, he secured an endorsement for Dude Wipes, a toilet-paper substitute for men . . . Bowles said he was not sure of the ongoing status of defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, who is suffering from an undisclosed illness. “We’re waiting for tests to come back next week,” Bowles said . . . The Colts listed five players as out, including receiver T.Y. Hilton (chest/hamstring), and six others as questionable.

New York Sports