The New York Jets’ injury problems along the offensive line keep finding ways to get worse.
After losing Connor McGovern and Wes Schweitzer to injuries during their overtime victory over the New York Giants, head coach Robert Saleh confirmed that both veterans will be going on IR and will miss a minimum of a month with a chance to return this season.
In McGovern’s case, while the team is “unsure” if the veteran will need surgery, they hope that simply rehabbing the knee injury would be enough to get him back on the field this season. Ian Rappaport earlier reported that McGovern had suffered a dislocated kneecap.
McGovern and Schweitzer are now the third and fourth offensive linemen to be placed on IR this season by Gang Green – joining Alijah Vera-Tucker and Duane Brown. Saleh later confirmed that while the Jets aren’t opening up the 21-day practice window for Brown just yet, they don’t believe he’ll need time to get back on the field.
New York is also unsure of the potential return of second-round rookie offensive lineman Joe Tippmann. The Wisconsin product missed Sunday with a groin injury, and the Jets will “wait and see” if he can return ahead of their Monday night showdown against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Potential Replacements at Center
The Jets need to find players who can snap the football to Zach Wilson for at least another month. Luckily, the team has some in-house, and out-of-house options available to them.
First, the team was impressed with the recent call-up, Xavier Newman. The undrafted free agent out of Baylor gave up five pressures and a sack in the Jets’ win over the cross-town rivals. Coming in after seeing two different centers go down with injuries wasn’t an easy thing to do for a player who has snapping experience, but never did so in an NFL game. Saleh later confirmed that Newman would be in consideration to start at center should he need to.
Another option for New York to consider is free agent Ben Jones. Jones has experience with Jets offensive line coach Keith Carter from their days in Tennessee. Jones remains a free agent and is 34 years old, but was a Pro Bowl player at the center position. Not only would he be helpful, but he could provide immediate relief to an offensive line that has had a new group starting almost every other week.
Saleh later confirmed Monday that while all options are on the table ahead of the NFL Deadline coming in 24 hours, “No one is trading offensive linemen.”