NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It looks like the summer of Vlad has turned into the fall of Ducasse.
The Jets gave the third-year offensive guard every opportunity in the world to win the job during training camp and his play had improved to the point where the debut of rookie Brian Winters, who was selected in the third round and was thought to be the type of talent that the Jets could rely on for years, was delayed indefinitely.
Well, consider that delay officially over.
According to Newsday, the Jets have benched Ducasse and elevated Winters for next Monday night’s game in Atlanta.
Through the first two games, Ducasse appeared to be living up to the expectations of former general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who took a lot of grief for drafting the project out of UMass in the second round in 2010. However, Ducasse’s play fell off considerably against Buffalo and Tennessee and was littered with all types of penalties, so the Jets reportedly felt it was time to sit the big Haitian down.
Enter Winters, a 6-foot-4, 320-pounder out of Kent State who struggled with an ankle injury during camp and failed to pick up the schemes and assignments to head coach Rex Ryan’s satisfaction. However, he’s now healthy and the Jets likely figure he has absorbed enough through four weeks worth of practice and watching games to make the transition.
The Jets’ offensive line struggled a bit Sunday, allowing five sacks in the 38-13 loss to the Titans. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith turned the ball over four times, including two interceptions.
It probably didn’t help matters that Smith was down his two top wide receivers for most of the game. Stephen Hill took a shot to the head on the second play from scrimmage and has been going through concussion protocol, and Santonio Holmes will miss a few weeks with an injured hamstring, the NY Post reported.
The Jets appear poised to address the situation as they were on the verge of signing former Buffalo Bills receiver David Nelson on Tuesday, the Post reported.
Nelson, who was cut by Cleveland during camp, had 61 catches for Buffalo in 2011 and has 94 catches for 1,042 yards and eight TDs during his four-year career.
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