By Abraham Gutierrez
At first glance, the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns’ NFL Week 1 injury reports resemble an emergency room lobby more than a pair of football clubs preparing for their season debuts. Following Friday’s practice, Jets coach Todd Bowles and Browns headman, Mike Pettine, tallied a combined 27 injured players.
The good news is that, out of this mountain of hobbled players, only one has been ruled out of Sunday’s matinee at MetLife Stadium. It comes as no surprise that the one name on this list that will definitely not see any action is none other than Jets quarterback, Geno Smith.
On August 11, the former West Virginia standout suffered a broken jaw during a heated scuffle with then-teammate, Ikemefuna Enemkpali. “IK” was released by the Jets following the incident, but was immediately picked up by the Buffalo Bills, who are ironically now under the tutelage of former Jets head coach, Rex Ryan.
Smith is expected to be sidelined anywhere between six to 10 weeks from the day of the altercation, which means Bowles will have Ryan Fitzpatrick and/or Bryce Petty at his disposal. For the opener against the Browns, all indications are that Fitzpatrick will get the nod as he prepares for an “awesome” debut with Gang Green.
In his 11th year out of Harvard, the well traveled signal-caller is most appreciative of the opportunity to play in the Big Apple. Starting for the Jets in the home opener feels extra special for the former member of the Rams, Bills and Titans, especially considering the way last things unfolded last December in Houston.
“Having trouble walking for a few months, it was hard for me,” he recalled the long road back from a broken leg. “It’s hard when you’re sitting around and having to put in the rehab and the hours and you’re not seeing much in terms of results for months and months.”
The remaining players listed as probable on the Jets’ injury report are: guards Willie Colon (knee) and James Carpenter (back), safety Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulder), running back Chris Ivory (knee), tackle Ben Ijalana (knee), wide receivers Devin Smith (ribs) and Jeremy Kerley (concussion), cornerback Antonio Cromartie (hip), defensive ends Stephen Bowen (knee) and Leonard Williams (calf), and linebackers Erin Henderson (knee) and Lorenzo Mauldin (knee).
Jets NFL Week 1 Injury Report & Game Status
(G) Willie Colon (knee)
(S) Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulder)
(RB) Chris Ivory (knee)
(T) Ben Ijalana (knee)
(WR) Devin Smith (ribs)
(CB) Antonio Cromartie (hip)
(G) James Carpenter (back)
(WR) Jeremy Kerley (concussion)
(DE) Stephen Bowen (knee)
(DE) Leonard Williams (calf)
(LB) Erin Henderson (knee)
(LB) Lorenzo Mauldin (knee)
(QB) Geno Smith (jaw)
Browns NFL Week 1 Injury Report & Game Status
(QB) Johnny Manziel (right elbow)
(CB) Pierre Desir (concussion)
(LB) Christian Kirksey (groin)
(T) Mitchell Schwartz (tackle)
(CB) Joe Haden (hip)
(RB) Duke Johnson (concussion)
(WR) Marlon Moore (rib)
(WR) Dwayne Bowe (hamstring)
(LB) Nate Orchard (back)
(CB) K’Waun Williams (abdomen)
(CB) Justin Gilbert (hip)
(LB) Barkevious Mingo (knee)
(WR) Terrelle Pryor (hamstring)
(T) Joe Thomas (knee)
Abe Gutierrez’s passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers) and CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com. and other online publications.