Return of Crowder, Cole Is 'Priceless' For Jets' Offense

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Looking to build on a promising finish to Sunday's loss to the Panthers, Zach Wilson will have two more weapons at his disposal in Week 2.

The Jets will welcome both veteran wide receivers Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole back to the fold on Sunday against the Patriots. 

Crowder was sidelined last week after testing positive for COVID-19 while Cole's Jets debut was delayed due to a knee injury sustained in practice. Once Crowder is cleared on Thursday, both those two wideouts will be back in practice, getting set for New York's home opener.

Asked what kind of impact those two receivers can have on Gang Green's offense, Saleh emphasized their veteran presence. It's no different, to Saleh, then the type of influence Corey Davis had for Wilson and the Jets on Sunday, leading the way with 97 receiving yards. 

"Those guys do things the right way, they're where they are supposed to be, they're all gas 100% of the time and they're reliable," Saleh said. "For a quarterback, you can't ask for much more than that. To have two more options on the football field for [Wilson] is priceless."

Even without those two receivers, Wilson was able to find his rhythm in the second half on Sunday. The rookie ended up with 258 passing yards while going 20-for-37 through the air. He threw two touchdown passes—both to Davis—to go along with one interception.

It was the constant pressure on Wilson, however, that left players and coaches frustrated after the loss. The first-rounder was sacked six times, consistently flushed out of the pocket as he tried to avoid pass rushers and extend plays. 

Saleh reiterated that football is the ultimate team spot. Getting two veteran receivers back gives Wilson two more talented individuals that he can find when under duress, or even before he feels the need to make plays with his feet. He'll be able to count on those two, leaning on the foundation that was built during training camp and offseason workouts. 

Wilson targeted Davis seven times against the Panthers, which was no surprise, but seven more targets to Braxton Berrios out of the slot was a product of Crowder's absence. No knock on Berrios, who had five catches for 51 yards, Wilson will have last year's leading receiver available in a system where that duo can excel. 

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