The Jets wide receivers corps was dealt another blow on Monday.
Vyncint Smith, who started four games for the Jets last season, learned he needs to undergo surgery on a core muscle injury and will miss the next five to eight weeks, according to a source. Smith practiced Friday, but was then shut down. The source said Smith’s muscle is tearing from the bone.
Smith looked like he was in line for some decent playing time. With Denzel Mims (hamstring) sidelined, Smith got the majority of the first-team reps on Friday.
The Jets claimed Smith off waivers from the Texans in September. He played in 13 games, catching 17 passes for 225 yards. He also had three carries for 52 yards and a touchdown. Smith, 24, also returned 10 kickoffs for 299 yards and was expected to be the Jets’ kick returner this fall.
The Jets are thin at receiver with Smith out and Mims missing time. They agreed to a deal with veteran Chris Hogan on Sunday, but he can’t practice with the team until he clears the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
TE Chris Herndon made the catch of the day Monday. During a seven-on-seven drill, Herndon caught a pass from Sam Darnold in traffic with one hand. He then gathered the ball as he fell to the ground to complete the catch. The Jets are counting on Herndon to bounce back from his injury-filled 2019 season to help their offense.
Coach Adam Gase said he is unsure when ILB Avery Williamson (knee) will be able to come off the active/PUP list. Williamson is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last August. He is running on the side during practice.
“I know this, he looks good when I’ve watched him, you know just running and his rehab, and he’s doing those type of things, but it’s all about continuous work, day in and day out,” Gase said. “When you get kind of past … two days straight of working and then get to the third one, how’s he feeling the fourth day? It’s just that increased workload that he’s been doing. I know he wants to be back out there, and we want him back out there. … We got to do right by him and make sure that he’s in the right frame both mentally and physically before we put him out there.”
LB James Burgess suffered a lower-back injury early in practice and missed the rest of the session. Mims (hamstring), CB Pierre Desir (hamstring), CB Brian Poole (dehydration), DL Jabari Zuniga (quad), OL Cameron Clark (shoulder), OL Bronson Kaufusi (hamstring) and TE Ross Travis (groin) all missed practice.