FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sam Darnold plans to make all of his tackles with his left arm from now on, but he hopes he won’t have to make many.
Darnold appeared on the Jets’ long injury report Wednesday with a right elbow issue. He fully participated in practice, so he doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Darnold had a huge smile when he was asked about it. He said he hurt it making it a tackle after an interception in Sunday’s win over the Colts. Darnold also was hit on the elbow on the throw.
“It’s nothing crazy. I felt fine throwing the ball today,” Darnold said. “I’ll try to not throw as many interceptions, so I can stay away from making tackles. At the same time, I should probably tackle without using my right arm as much.”
Though Darnold practiced Wednesday, the Jets had nine players who didn’t. Coach Todd Bowles already ruled out receiver Quincy Enunwa, who has a high ankle sprain, and safety Marcus Maye (broken thumb) for Sunday’s game against the Vikings when the Jets go for their third straight victory.
“It’s pretty lengthy,” Bowles said of the injury report. “We’ll see how they come back this week when they get treatment. If not, we got guys that we’re working in just in case, and we’ll be ready to go with those guys.”
Leonard Williams didn’t practice because of a back situation. That was the case last Thursday, and he practiced that Friday and played Sunday. Isaiah Crowell (foot) also missed practices last week, and he played.
There are two areas of concern in particular for the Jets — at wide receiver and in the secondary against a very talented Minnesota receiving corps.
Three of the players who didn't practice were receivers. Joining Enunwa were Robby Anderson (hamstring) and Terrelle Pryor (groin). Pryor, who has caught touchdown passes in the last two games, aggravated his groin against the Colts. Bowles said. Anderson was sore and couldn’t go.
Bowles hopes that with rest and treatment they will be able to play by Sunday.
The Jets could use returner Andre Roberts at receiver. Another receiver and special teams standout, Charone Peake, practiced Wednesday after missing the past three games with a hamstring issue. The Jets also could promote Darnold’s old college teammate, Deontay Burnett, from the practice squad. But Bowles didn’t rule out the Jets signing a wide receiver.
“Possibly,” Bowles said. “We’re kicking tires with some people. We’ll see how the week goes, see how they’re feeling.”
The Jets worked out Rishard Matthews and Corey Coleman Tuesday. Dez Bryant is available, but Bowles wouldn’t say whether the Jets have any interest. He also said he didn’t see Matthews and Coleman work out because he was in meetings.
In the secondary, the Jets could be without three of their top five defensive backs.
Cornerback Trumaine Johnson remains out with a quad injury. He has missed the past two games. Backup cornerback Buster Skrine remains in concussion protocol. He missed last week’s game. And Maye is out.
This is not an ideal situation against Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Thielen leads the NFL iwith 58 catches and 712 yards.
“They’re outstanding,” Bowles said. “I think they’re two of the best. It’s a huge challenge."
Darryl Roberts started last week for Johnson. Rookie Parry Nickerson and Terrence Brooks got additional snaps last week since Doug Middleton was banged up. Middleton practiced in full Wednesday so he could play more this week. Rashard Robinson, who was suspended the first four games, could work his way into the mix as well.
“It’s the next man up philosophy,” defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson said. “When they get in the ball game I expect them to do what they’re coached to do, expect them to be where they’re supposed to be. If they do that, they’ll make plays.”