New York Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley has practiced every day this week, but he had to wear a red, non-contact jersey in order to be out there. But since he finally started to catch passes with both hands on Friday, there was an increased level of optimism that Kerley would be able to suit up for this week’s big game against the Baltimore Ravens. Kerley has been out for a few weeks with a dislocated elbow and has made some nice progress, but he’s still a week away from returning.
The Jets have officially listed Kerley as doubtful for this week’s game, which means that it would be a big surprise to see him play against the Ravens. Last week, the Jets passing offense was absolutely horrific in a blowout loss to the rival Buffalo Bills, and Kerley would have greatly helped the Jets offense with his return. That isn’t in the cards, though, so Geno Smith will have to bounce back without having his most consistent receiver back in the fold. Kerley is quite important to the Jets success on offense, mainly because the other receivers on the team have been too inconsistent this season.
In all honesty, it’s a surprise that the Jets haven’t just ruled out Kerley completely, because head coach Rex Ryan didn’t exactly display optimism regarding the TCU product’s status. He said, via the New York Daily News, “There hasn’t been a whole lot of receivers that have had this injury, like three in the last 10 years. The young man, to his credit, he wants to be out there in the worst way. He’s showing it during the week; he’s practicing and things. We’ll see how it goes. He’s way further along than what I think people were assuming.”
Ryan called Kerley “very doubtful” for this week’s game, and it sounds like he has made some progress but not nearly enough to play tomorrow. I expect Kerley to be back next week for an all-important rivalry clash with the Miami Dolphins, which is yet another game with massive playoff ramifications for the Jets.