New York Jets have Jamien Sherwood’s back as he prepares to fill in for C.J. Mosley
The New York Jets‘ modern defensive injury reports could potentially resemble a Pro Bowl ballot.
Gang Green (1-4) already knows that they’ll be without prized acquisition Carl Lawson for the duration of the 2021 season. They have yet to see Jarrad Davis don a green uniform after he came over from Detroit and only saw nine snaps of Lamarcus Joyner before his season came to an end. Vinny Curry will also miss the entire season.
Though Marcus Maye is due back after missing the last two games with an ankle injury, the team could be missing linebacker C.J. Mosley when they return from a league-mandated week off on Sunday afternoon in New England (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
Mosley tweaked his hamstring in the late stages of the Jets’ most recent contest, a 27-20 defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons in London. Head coach Robert Saleh said that Mosley’s status will come “down to the wire” during his Friday statements, although he is listed as doubtful on the team’s final injury report.
Missing Mosley would not only deny the Jets the production of the veteran linebacker, but they would also lose their defensive communicator. The former Baltimore Raven has been the wearer of the “green dot” on his helmet, a sticker that designates which player is able to hear the coaching staff’s radio communications from the sidelines.
New York is ready to pass on those duties to MIKE linebacker understudy Jamien Sherwood if Mosley is unable to partake.
The switch would understandably have its concerns. Sherwood, the Jets’ fifth-round selection out of Auburn, has yet to post a game in which he has appeared in at least half of the defensive snaps. He missed the first leg of the yearly pair against the Patriots in Week 2 with an ankle ailment.
Sherwood mostly played at safety as an Auburn Tiger but the Jets immediately announced their intentions to move him over to linebacker upon drafting him.
Yet, the Jets are confident that the young defender is ready for the responsibilities of the dot. Saleh, for example, has needed just over a few months of camps and practice to prophesize Sherwood as an NFL staple in the making.
“We’re really excited about Jamien. He’s a rookie, so maybe what he lacks in experience he makes up for with his smarts, mental quickness, just an understanding of football,” Saleh said, per notes from the Jets. “He’s going to have rookie moments, but the more he plays, the better he’s going to get…He belongs, let’s just say that, and he’s only going to get better.”
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One of the reasons why the Jets are so confident in Sherwood’s ability to bear the dot was because of his ability to communicate even before such duties became a possibility.
“The amount of stuff he gets out of his mouth, pre-snap wise with regards to close calls, checks and all of it is fascinating for a rookie He’s very, very confident,” Saleh said. “He knows everybody’s job and so our confidence of him with the green dot is fine.
“He’s an unusual rookie because…rookies, they’re so known for not necessarily having the awareness, the ability to communicate, all those things, whereas Jamien is not that at all,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich added through his own weekly statements on Thursday. “He carries himself like a vet. He communicates like a vet. Although he doesn’t have the experience that a C.J. has, he’s a guy that we have a lot of trust in. So, if C.J. can’t go, Jamien will be our guy.”
Sherwood himself is riding on a relative high. He has flashed potential in the snaps he has earned, appearing on a career-high 54 snaps (34 defense, 20 special teams) in London, likewise earning an infantile personal-best six tackles.
As the Jets embarked on their bye week, Sherwood returned home to Florida where his number was retired by Jensen Beach High School. Upon his entry into the Jets’ Week 1 contest against Carolina, Sherwood became the first former Falcon to appear in a regular-season NFL game.
Despite the accolades and visit home, Sherwood made it a point to mix business with pleasure. He told team reporter Eric Allen that he continued to watch film during his time down south as he prepped for larger duties after the bye.
The Jets have a dozen weeks of uninterrupted football ahead, one that begins in New England and features showdowns against playoff contenders from Cincinnati, Buffalo, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay.
Even if Mosley to forced to skip Sunday’s game, Sherwood still won’t be alone. The Jets have enjoyed the services of Quincy Williams, a late summer cut from Jacksonville that has become a diamond-in-the-rough signing. Blake Cashman has returned from injury while fellow veteran Del’Shawn Phillips will likewise be available.
As larger responsibilities loom, Sherwood believes he’s well-prepared for the potential assignment. Communication was something he chose to work on from the second he stepped into the Garden State.
“I’ve been very comfortable, really since the day I got here,” Sherwood told Allen. “For me, the main thing is communication. It’s always about the eyes, your eyes will take you to the ball.”
Sherwood believes that the post-bye slate kicking off in Foxboro is a major opportunity not only on a personal level but on a team-wide level as well.
“We have a great football team despite our record,” Sherwood said in Allen’s segment. “We came back with a lot of energy and basically we came back restarting the season at 0-0. At this point we can build an identity. It’s a great way to start this off with a team in our division.”
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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