The Jets fear safety Doug Middleton suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings. Todd Bowles said Middleton might have suffered a tear, and that he was still undergoing tests. If it is torn, he would be lost for the year, which would be another big loss for an already depleted secondary.
Middleton started at safety for Marcus Maye, who broke his thumb last week.
The Jets could be down four defensive backs Sunday in Chicago. Trumaine Johnson missed the last three games with a quadriceps injury. Buster Skrine suffered a concussion in last week’s win over the Colts, and remains in the protocol. Bowles said the Jets may sign a free agent.
“We’ll discuss what our options are,” Bowles said on a conference call Monday.
As of now, the Jets have Terrence Brooks to play safety with Jamal Adams. Darryl Roberts started at corner and had a solid game against the Vikings, and rookie Parry Nickerson played in the slot.
As the injuries in the secondary mount, the Jets also could have players in to work out at running back and wide receiver. Running back Bilal Powell suffered a neck injury Sunday. Bowles didn’t have an update. If Powell is out, the Jets are down to Isaiah Crowell and rookie Trenton Cannon.
The Jets remain without receiver Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and waived Terrelle Pryor, who is sidelined with a groin injury. Their receivers were non-factors against the Vikings. Robby Anderson had just three catches for 44 yards, and Jermaine Kearse didn’t catch a pass. The other wideouts were special-teamers Andre Roberts and Charone Peake, and rookie Deontay Burnett, who was just promoted from the practice squad and made his NFL debut.
Also, center Spencer Long, who has been playing with a finger injury on his snapping hand, got “nicked up” Sunday. Bowles wouldn’t say what the injury was, but Jonotthan Harrison replaced Long late in the game. Long made some bad snaps in the last few games.
“They come in bunches,” Bowles said of the injuries. “But we got 53 guys on the team. That’s why those guys made the team. Somebody goes down, the next guy has to step up.”
The Jets signed wide receiver J.J Jones and center Jon Toth to their practice squad.
Bowles defended his decision not to call timeout before the Vikings missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt with 47 seconds left in the half. Had Bowles called time, the Jets could have gotten the ball back with more than a minute left, and instead had only 42 seconds. They didn’t move the ball anyway.
“We had enough to go with three timeouts to work a two-minute drill,” Bowles said. “We felt like 40 seconds was more than enough time from where the ball was had he missed the kick.
“We’re good with our decision.”
The Jets could have had a takeaway if their defense had played to the whistle while trailing 20-10 in the third quarter. Kirk Cousins threw a backwards pass to Stefon Diggs, and Darron Lee and Parry Nickerson stopped instead of pouncing. Diggs recovered the fumble.
“We got to play all the way through,” Bowles said. “We can’t relax.”