The Jets are heading toward a youth movement, just as their rookies are getting healthy.
The entire 2020 Jets’ draft class participated in practice for the first time on Wednesday, Adam Gase said.
"At this point, it’s let’s get these guys involved," Gase said. "Let’s get them developed. Let’s see if we can get them to bring a spark to each side of the ball."
Left tackle Mekhi Becton (shoulder) may return from a two-game absence and wide receiver Denzel Mims (hamstring) might make his NFL debut Sunday against Buffalo.
Becton is a starter and Mims is expected to start. But in the last two weeks, the Jets also designated defensive end Jabari Zuniga, offensive lineman Cameron Clark and cornerback Bryce Hall to return from injured reserve to practice.
La’Mical Perine, who missed Week 1, is expected to be the featured running back at some point. Safety Ashtyn Davis returned last week after missing two games with a groin injury. Quarterback James Morgan has been healthy but hasn’t played yet.
Only punter Braden Mann has played every game
"I hope you just didn’t jinx that," Gase said.
The Jets already have begun shedding veterans. In a nine-day span, they waived Le’Veon Bell and traded nose tackle Steve McLendon and linebacker Jordan Willis.
More moves are likely before the Nov. 3 trade deadline, which would give younger players bigger opportunity. The Jets are in evaluation mode.
"We just want to get these guys on the field and see what they can do," Gase said.
Top receiver Jamison Crowder (groin) did not practice Thursday. Gase spoke beforehand and said Crowder would be limited after feeling tightness on Wednesday. Gase didn’t seem concerned. The fact that Crowder was downgraded could lead to him sitting out Sunday.
Sam Ficken’s groin also tightened up Wednesday and he didn’t practice Thursday. If Ficken can’t kick Sunday, the Jets will elevate former XFL and CFL punter and kicker Sergio Castillo from the practice squad. The Jets signed Castillo last week in case of emergency.
"Thank God, if this works out that way, that we have him in here because we would have been in deep trouble," special teams coach Brant Boyer said.
Boyer’s unit had a rare rough game last week in Miami, filled with penalties, missed tackles and a muffed kickoff return by Vyncint Smith in his first game off IR. Boyer was "not happy" about any of it.
Although he likes Smith, Boyer said, "I will find somebody this year who can make good decisions back there and do a good job for us."
Jenkins not worried
Longest-tenured Jet Jordan Jenkins was sorry to see McLendon go. But Jenkins said he isn’t concerned about being moved if the Jets continue to trade veterans.
"I never really worried about that kind of thing," Jenkins said. "It’s something that whatever happens, happens. Just deal with it and hit it full steam."