It might not be the most high-profile injury news of the week, but losing safety Lamarcus Joyner for the season is going to have a lasting impact on the Jets' defense.
The veteran left Sunday's loss in Carolina with an elbow injury. Turns out, Joyner tore his triceps and will be sidelined for the rest of the year.
Joyner, 30, was poised to anchor a young and inexperienced secondary along with Marcus Maye. Now, Maye is the lone veteran of the group, seeking to build chemistry with new faces entering Week 2.
"You never want to see anybody get hurt, especially Week 1 and especially the way it happened," Maye told reporters this week. "We've just got to adjust and get used to playing with somebody new. Learn on the fly, just gotta get better at communication. That's what practice is for. That's what meetings are for."
Joyner played only nine snaps on Sunday before getting hurt against the Panthers. While head coach Robert Saleh wouldn't name the safety's immediate replacement, he singled out Sheldrick Redwine, Adrian Colbert and Jarrod Wilson as options to fill in on Sunday against the Patriots.
Joyner's absence will extend beyond what the the field of play, though. Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich pointed out the type of veteran presence that Joyner brought behind the scenes leading up to the regular season, something that New York's younger defensive backs won't be able to utilize anymore.
"He had a voice, he had command of the back end, he had culture stuff too," Ulbrich explained. "He’s one of those rare guys who’s absolutely obsessed with this game and loves this game, and he had a tremendous influence on the younger players from that standpoint, showing them a real structure of what a pro looks like, on and off the field, in the meeting rooms, off the field, all the stuff that he does at the highest level. It’s going to hurt from a lot of ways."
Maye assured that it will be easier to work with whoever fills in for Joyner (from those three aforementioned names) because all the options Saleh listed have previous NFL experience. It's different than the Jets' situation at cornerback, where the Yankees are loaded with rookies.
That said, no matter who starts next to Maye at safety for the rest of the season, replacing someone like Joyner will be a real challenge.
"It’s tough losing Lamarcus," Ulbrich added. "He’s one of those guys that it’s like, when I got into coaching that was the type of guy that I wanted to coach, guys that just love the game and are just digging for every inch and are great teammates, and great human beings, and great men. He checks all those boxes."
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