The New York Jets' preseason is not going as planned so far. Injuries are mounting in a year where the franchise simply cannot afford any setbacks. To make things worse, the fans are not ready to buy into the changes made in the offseason, quickly booing quarterback Geno Smith when he stepped on the field. After two weeks of training camp, important players are already being ruled out while the offensive play is not much better.
The Jets have already lost two players for a portion of the season. Dee Milliner is down for at least the first three games of the regular season. According to ESPN's Rich Cimini the cornerback is undergoing surgery for a torn wrist tendon. Rumors of a release were already circling around Milliner's name and now they will only get louder as the team moves on with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie at the position. The same can be said about Antonio Allen who is now out with a torn Achilles. This puts pressure on the depth for the Jets, more importantly it pressures Calvin Pryor who is also hearing he is a bubble player. The Jets have not been silent about Pryor's need to prove himself.
"It was more of a mental thing for me," Pryor said, via the New York Post. "Last year I got kind of down on myself during times, but I felt like I picked it up at the end of the season. If I could just take that confidence level I had at the end of the season and just roll it over into this season and just take it up another notch I feel like I will be in good shape."
Muhammad Wilkerson is also dealing with a hamstring injury that might be more serious than originally assumed. With Sheldon Richardson out, Wilkerson is the man on defense, but has yet to really show anything thanks to an injury. Cimini reports that the Jets are confident this issue will not linger too long.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on Smith who is having a better start to training camp than years before. Head coach Todd Bowles told the media that the change to Smith has been night and day and much of that is thanks to the receiving duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker who continue to be big threats on the field. According to Smith, the addition of Ryan Fitzpatrick and the pressure of the fan base is only going to make him more driven.
"That's when I thrive, man," Smith said,via ESPN.com. "That's when I'm at my best. I've been through a lot in two years. Maybe my rookie year, I would've hung my head or it might have fazed me or it might have affected me negatively. But at this point, it rolls right off my back."