New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is hoping to get back on the right track after a five-interception debacle in last Sunday’s 16-13 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills. But it appears that Sanchez will have to right his ship without one of his primary targets.
A few days after saying that wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery had a "real chance" of returning from a hamstring injury this week, head coach Rex Ryan revealed on Friday that the Jets’ No. 2 target will be sidelined for the second straight game.
"I was hoping Jerricho would be able to do it," Ryan told The Associated Press of the wideout playing in Oakland on Sunday. "We're going to make that trip all the way out there, and we feel it's best if he stays back and rehabs. That's what we're going to do and hopefully get him back at 100 percent for next week."
Ryan also noted that backup receiver Brad Smith will miss Sunday’s game against the Raiders in Oakland. That means the focus in Gang Green’s passing attack this week will be on Braylon Edwards and tight end Dustin Keller.
But things might not be quite as simple as that. Edwards figures to be blanketed by Oakland’s top cornerback, Nnamdi Asomugha, for most of the game, and Asomugha is known as one of the top shutdown cover men in the league. Sanchez may chuck the ball his way a dozen times during the contest, but Edwards will need his best effort to come down with them.
The Jets will start David Clowney opposite Edwards, hoping to draw Asomugha to the other side a few times, but Clowney started in Cotchery’s place last week and didn’t catch a pass, even against the Bills’ banged-up defense.
Facing a Raiders secondary that allows an abysmal 7.4 yards per pass attempt seemed like Sanchez’s first cupcake assignment in awhile, but it just got a little bit harder. And that could mean an increased workload for running backs Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.