Replacing Alijah Vera-Tucker
Well if we never play in Denver again it’ll be too soon. Over the last two games at Mile High, we’ve experienced three season-ending injuries, two of them to the same player. I wouldn’t blame AVT for having a distinct dislike for all things Denver going forward.
Today we’re going to focus on how the Jets are going to replace him, or at least their options to replace him.
First, we’re going to go through some key stats from Sunday’s game in the quick throw section.
Former Bengals and Cowboys right tackle La'el Collins worked out for the New York Jets on Tuesday according to the NFL's official transaction wire. He had a pretty poor year for him last season, but historically he’s been a very good lineman. He’s been working hard to rehab his ACL injury suffered in December, but based on some of the workout videos, he’s healthy.
The Jets were only credited with missing 7 tackles, I thought it was more. Michael Carter (x2), Jordan Whitehead (x2), Micheal Clemons, Quincy Williams, Solomon Thomas. I’m sure I saw Tony Adams whiff but that wasn’t recorded. Why we can’t always trust these stats.
Bruce Huff led the team with 8 pressures, behind him was Jermaine Johnson (5), JFM (4), Quincy Williams (3), Quinnen Williams (2) and Al Woods (1).
Sauce Gardner allowed 19 yards on Sunday, he’s now allowing just 30.4 yards per game through the first five games of the season. He’s now had 4 straight weeks where he’s allowed 35 or less receiving yards.
In his first start since 2021, Bryce Hall allowed 12 yards into his coverage, with a long of 6 yards. I was absolutely amazed that Russell Wilson didn’t target him more.
There were two drops by Jets receivers, one each for Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard. They both have two drops each on the season now.
Mekhi Becton led the Jets with an 80.6 run-block grade, he also led the Jets with an 81.0 pass-block grade. He allowed just 1 pressure which turned into a sack on 31 pass blocking snaps.
The Jets allowed 10 pressures in total. Tippmann allowed 4, AVT 2, Tomlinson 2, Mitchell 1, Becton 1. Connor McGovern was the only starting lineman to be perfect in terms of pass-protection.
The Jets ran three play-action passes at the weekend, and they completed all 3 of them for 37 yards. They also completed 3-3 screens for 21 yards. Would like to see both used a lot more going forward.
I don’t know what it is about Denver, but victories at Mile High tend to cost the Jets.
Last year we lost Breece Hall and Alijah Vera-Tucker through injuries while playing the Broncos, and you can key in on that moment as the start of the Jet’s downfall.
As soon as AVT went down and Saleh confirmed that there was “concern’ relating to a calf injury, you knew it was likely the Achilles.
Then, we received a little hope. Ian Rapoport tweeted that although he was expected to miss time, there was optimism it wasn’t season-ending. That hope lasted about an hour, as Saleh confirmed that the Jets would have to navigate the rest of the season without their most versatile offensive lineman.
The first thing to say is my heart goes out to AVT. Having worked his way back from a serious triceps injury that required surgery, he’s going back under the knife for an Achilles repair. It’s a long road back from an injury like that, and I’m sure above all else he’s extremely frustrated.
The second thing to say is I think we now have to consider AVT to be a little injury-prone. When you miss 10+ games in back-to-back seasons, it’s hard to say anything else. Maybe they're freak injuries and there is an element here where you’re just unlucky. But it’s hard to count on a guy who’s never come close to completing a full NFL season.
That’s the hand we’ve been dealt, so how do the Jets move forward? They certainly have some options.