The New York Jets have removed all-pro cornerback Sauce Gardner from their roster just a day after ruling out his fellow cornerback D.J. Reed. Both Gardner and Reed will not be playing against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday’s game due to concussions.
Gardner’s status was initially listed as questionable with an illness before being updated to a concussion on October 14.
Meanwhile, Reed had missed the previous week’s game following a concussion from the match against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 1. The Bakersfield-born cornerback played every defensive snap in the game, but he reportedly exhibited concussion symptoms the following Monday.
Additionally, the Jets will be without two more cornerbacks, Brandin Echols and Justin Hardee. Both Echols and Hardee are sidelined with hamstring injuries.
Gardner, who earned 1st-team All-Pro and Defensive Rookie of the Year honors last year, has never missed a game in his two NFL seasons until now.
In 2022, Gardner participated in all 17 Jets games and started in each one. He tallied 51 total tackles, 20 passes defensed, two interceptions, and nine and a half sacks.
Reed, a 7th-year veteran, had also started in every Jets game over the past two years until he missed last week’s game against the Broncos. Echols, the Jets’ 6th-round pick in 2021, has participated in 30 games and started 14. Hardee, who initially entered the NFL as a wide receiver with the Saints, has played 38 games for the Jets over the last three years with no starts.
To compensate for the missing players, the Jets have promoted two cornerbacks from the practice squad, Craig James and Ke’Montae Hayes. James has played in five NFL games, recording four tackles and one pass defensed. Meanwhile, 19-year-old Hayes is highly likely to be called to contribute on special teams and in the secondary.
It remains to be seen whether the Jets will begin with one of the practice squad corners on the outside or shift Michael Carter II to that position. Regardless, the Jets are in an unfavorable situation due to ongoing injury troubles.
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