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Injured Titans A.J. Brown, Julio Jones could miss Jets game

Some luck may finally have found its way to the Jets.

Their opponent on Sunday, the Titans (2-1), could be without their top two receivers. A.J. Brown and Julio Jones haven’t practiced this week due to hamstring injuries.

Brown, who strained his hamstring during Tennessee’s win Sunday over the Colts, is not expected to play. Jones didn’t appear in the fourth quarter Sunday, and his status is up in the air. The two have combined to catch 19 passes for 296 yards this year. Their absence would be significant, especially now that the Jets have lost top safety Marcus Maye (ankle) for as much as a month.

“It probably changes us a little bit more on third down than it does on first and second down because when they do run their play-action and they do what they do from a passing perspective, it’s the scheme as much as it is the man,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. “When it gets to third down, and it comes down to matchups, obviously, you better have an answer for both of those guys. But they have a good wide receiver regime outside of those two, so it’s going to be a tough challenge regardless.”

Second-year receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine emerged for the Titans on Sunday. He caught four passes for 53 yards and his first career touchdown.

The Titans could be without receivers A.J. Brown (l.) and Julio Jones (r.) against the Jets on Sunday.
AP (2)

The Jets have yet to allow a 100-yard receiver this year. That, however, could be because they have trailed by large deficits in all three games.

Ulbrich didn’t offer many hints on how the Jets plan to proceed at safety in Maye’s absence, mentioning Sharrod Neasman and Ashtyn Davis as possibilities, though both are on injured reserve. The two returned to practice on Wednesday, though they have yet to be activated off IR.

Jarrod Wilson and Adrian Colbert are the only safeties currently on the active roster. Sheldrick Redwine, who is currently on the practice squad, could be another option.

Confusion seems to have caused the delay of game penalty that wiped out Matt Ammendola’s 56-yard field goal in the second quarter of Sunday’s 26-0 loss at Denver. Jets special teams coach Brant Boyer said he thought the officials were going to restart the play clock, as sometimes happens before a field-goal attempt, but they didn’t. The Jets ultimately punted.

“I’ll take 100 percent responsibility,” Boyer said. “Sometimes those refs pump the clock like that, sometimes they won’t. We just didn’t get it done.”

Jamison Crowder, the Jets’ leading receiver the past two years, practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day. He hasn’t appeared in a game this season after testing positive for COVID-19 before the opener and being slowed by a groin injury. Tight end Tyler Kroft (rib) was also limited. Receivers Jeff Smith and Elijah Moore, both dealing with concussions, remained out. Running back La’Mical Perine (non-COVID-19 illness) also didn’t practice.

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