Jets prioritizing players health this offseason – New York Post

Jets prioritizing players health this offseason – New York Post
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The Jets had plenty of issues this season and injuries were near the top of the list … again.

The Jets led the league with $68.3 million tied up on injured reserve, according to Over The Cap. They lost key players Carl Lawson, Marcus Maye, Mekhi Becton, Lamarcus Joyner and Corey Davis to lengthy season-ending injuries.

General manager Joe Douglas said keeping players healthy is one of the organization’s offseason priorities.

“It’s hard to consistently win games when you’re banged up,” Douglas said. “It’s been a frustrating thing.”

The Jets created an Athletic Care and Performance department last March to give players better health treatment. Douglas said the department did help in some areas. Douglas said the Jets had fewer hamstring and ACL injuries this year. Now, they want to study why they had so many Achilles’ tendon injuries. They lost Lawson, Maye and Jamien Sherwood to torn Achilles this season.

“Overall, we’ve lost far too many guys to injuries,” Douglas said. “We have to be better.”

The next most cap space on IR behind the Jets was Washington at $59 million. The most money tied up on IR for a playoff team is $27 million for the Buccaneers.

Becton missed all but one game after suffering a knee injury in Week 1. The Jets need Becton to return in 2022 and live up to the promise he showed as a rookie.

A composite image of Jets GM Joe Douglas and Mekhi Becton.
Joe Douglas, left, and Mekhi Becton
Bill Kostroun/New York Post; AP

“I think for him attacking this offseason and coming back in the best possible shape he can be in,” Douglas said. “I expect big things from him next year. We all want Mekhi back.”

Why did an injury that the Jets said would keep him out four to eight weeks extend for four months?

“Mekhi’s a bigger man,” Douglas said. “ It took him longer to heal than we originally expected. It wasn’t really anyone’s fault. It wasn’t Mekhi’s fault. It wasn’t the doctor’s fault. The process became longer than we originally thought.”

Becton was the No. 11-overall pick in 2020. That draft class failed to deliver much for the Jets this season other than cornerback Bryce Hall. Douglas preached patience.

“I would say about the entire draft class, we’re in Year 2 of their pro careers,” Douglas said. “I would say at this checkpoint in their race, it’s probably not where it needs to be as a group but at this point there’s no one giving up on these players.”

The second-round pick in 2020 was Denzel Mims. The wide receiver had an extremely disappointing season. Mims had eight catches for 133 yards and did not have a catch in his final four games. He has yet to score a touchdown in two NFL seasons.

“Everyone wants the best for Denzel and everybody wants Denzel to succeed,” Douglas said. “Him coming back this offseason in the best possible shape he can be in with the right mentality and attack the offseason, I think that’s going to be beneficial for him and the entire team.”

Douglas dodged a question about whether he wanted Maye, a pending free agent, back. … Douglas praised DT Quinnen Williams, but said there have been no conversations about a contract extension. Williams is now eligible for one after completing his third season. “He is a player that we all value and appreciate and want to keep here for a long time,” Douglas said. … Jets coach Robert Saleh said he would like veteran QB Joe Flacco to be re-signed by the Jets.