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Denzel Mims' spot in Jets' receiver rotation is very much in doubt

Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims runs with the

Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims runs with the ball against Giants linebacker Devante Down during the third quarter of an NFL preseason game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Aug. 14. Credit: Brad Penner

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Denzel Mims only played three snaps in Week 1. The second-year receiver may see even less action Sunday.

The Jets activated slot receiver Jamison Crowder from the COVID-19 list Thursday and Keelan Cole continues to progress after a knee issue sidelined him for Week 1. Without them, Mims played the fewest reps of the Jets’ five receivers active against Carolina.

Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said one reason was because the Jets never really got into a rhythm. LaFleur plans to rotate receivers to keep them fresh. But Mims’ spot in the rotation is very much in doubt.

Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and Crowder will start Sunday against the Patriots. Cole would be part of the second wave, followed by Braxton Berrios, Jeff Smith and Mims.

"If we continue to sustain drives, we’ll sub those guys in and out," LaFleur said. "The cool part - and it’s a problem but a good problem - I do think we have a deep receiving corps. We have a lot of guys that can play in this league. It is going to be tough for all those guys."

Mims, a second-round pick last year, ended up with one catch for 40 yards on Sunday. He’s been playing catch-up since missing OTAs with a nasty case of food poisoning. He played with the third team in training camp.

Robert Saleh said it was hard to bring in Mims because he doesn’t know all three receiver positions in their system "at a high level." LaFleur echoed that.

"He’s getting better," LaFleur said. "He’s starting to learn this offense more. He was a little bit behind because not having those OTA reps. Those are absolutely critical in Year 1, particularly in this offense with the moving parts that we go. I want to see him continue to get better."

More of Moore

Moore, who had one catch for minus-3 yards in Week 1, will be more involved Sunday. Bill Belichick’s trademark move is taking away the opposition’s best playmaker. If Davis is double-teamed, more opportunities should open up for Moore.

"He’s a guy we have so much confidence in," LaFleur said. "I do truly believe he’s going to have a big year. I think he’s going to have a big one this week in terms of having opportunities."

Fourth-and-flop

LaFleur, a first-time coordinator, took blame for the Jets not converting a fourth-and-1 last week. He said the players weren’t "prepared enough for that exact front." Running back Tevin Coleman was tackled for a 1-yard loss.

"I wish we could have gave them that look during the week of practice," LaFleur said. "We had one little mistake that happened. You can see a play that if run absolutely correctly and called at the right time had the chance at being a big play."

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