The addition of Donte Moncrief should help a New York Jets wide receivers room that has been hit hard with injuries in recent days. Just six wide receivers were able to practice on Saturday according to head coach Adam Gase.
And Moncrief, who still needs to pass the COVID-19 protocols as well as his physical, is still several days away from being able to step on the field and contribute for the Jets. When asked what Moncrief brings to the table, Gase was a bit evasive due to the gauntlet his new wide receiver has to navigate.
“It’s hard for me to go that far ahead right now. We still have to go through the COVID testing and the physical aspect of it,” Gase said Saturday during a virtual press conference.
“You’re looking at a guy, especially coming out I remember evaluating him, you’re looking at a guy that is able to love pretty good. He has experience in the league. He shouldn’t have a problem picking up the offense, I think that will happen pretty quick for him. When you haven’t seen a guy live, it’s hard to say what a guy is going to be in this offense.”
Moncrief played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers last season. His season tally of four catches for 18 yards all came in Pittsburgh.
While his output wasn’t big last year, he does have experience and has had a solid career to date. A 2014 third round pick of the Indianapolis Colts, Moncrief has his best seasons in the NFL in 2015 with 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns.
The concern for the Jets centers on their lack of high-end wide receivers right now. Second round pick Denzel Mims (hamstring) and Vyncint Smith (core) are both out. Breshad Perriman (knee), signed this offseason in free agency, was expected back this week but didn’t practice on Saturday according to Gase.
“I don’t know if it is serious, I think it is just kind of the way his body is reacting, I guess that’s the best way to put it. Trying to get the swelling down,” Gase said.
“Trying to get him comfortable to run or pain or anything that might be holding him back He might come in one day and might feel a lot better than he did the day before. Just got to keep try and find a way to make him progress and feel better.”
Gase admits that the injuries at wide receiver are rather significant and taking a toll on not just his team’s depth but how they are able to practice. And due to COVID-19 implementations, it isn’t as simple as signing someone off the streets and plopping them onto the practice field.
“We’re down to six in practice. It is hard to get guys in here because it takes four days with the COVID testing, and physicals let alone a guy being in shape and knowing what to do,” Gase said.
“We just need guys to get healthy and back. We need to adjust. We need to find ways to not hurt our practice by just doing nothing. It’s not going to be easy. We need to find ways to manage this.”