The Jets are starting to get back some key injured players, but they might need to break the glass and use their emergency kicker Sunday against Buffalo.
Sam Ficken, a rare bright spot on the NFL’s lone winless squad, didn’t practice Thursday with a groin issue that popped up the previous day in practice.
If Ficken is unable to play against the Bills, the Jets would turn to Sergio Castillo, a 29-year-old placekicker/punter hybrid who spent five seasons in the Canadian Football League and one in the XFL before the Jets signed him to their practice squad last week as contingency against the COVID-19 testing rules.
“That’s why they did it, in case something happened with the protocols and how much time it takes,” Jets coach Adam Gase said before practice Thursday. “If something like this happened [during] the week, we needed to have someone available to us whether it’s both kicking and punting. This is what it is was for, it was more thinking COVID, but this was the emergency plan.”
Ficken has connected on nine of 10 field-goal attempts and all six of his extra-point kicks this season, with his only miss a 54-yarder last week against Miami. Gase said the Jets will reevaluate Ficken’s status on Friday.
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder (groin), offensive lineman Alex Lewis (shoulder) and linebacker Tarell Basham (non COVID-related illness) did not practice, but Gase said Crowder’s absence was “just precautionary.”
Offensive linemen Mekhi Becton (shoulder), George Fant (knee) and Chuma Edoga (calf) were limited in practice.
Gase on Wednesday’s trade of little-used linebacker Jordan Willis and a 2021 seventh-round pick to San Francisco for sixth-rounder in 2022: “There was an opportunity there. He’d been inactive for us, so we just thought it was best for him, best for us.”
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