The Jets have issues on offense with penalties and rookie quarterback Geno Smith hampering their ability to score points. Now injuries will hurt an already ailing offense even more.
Wide receiver Stephen Hill could miss the next game with a concussion suffered on the Jets' opening possession of Sunday's loss to the Titans. In addition, fellow receiver Santonio Holmes left in the second half of Sunday's game with a hamstring injury that could see him shelved for at least the next week. He did not return to the game.
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Holmes and Hill lead the Jets in receiving yards this year and combined have accounted for 44 percent of the passing offense. In all likelihood, Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates will step up as the starting wide receivers and there will be additional snaps for Ben Obomanu and Ryan Spadola.
“We'd love to have those guys but the guys have to step up, whoever is in there,” Smith said. “They have to step up; they have to make plays. We expect them to.”
Where this leaves the Jets is anyone's guess, even as the offense as a whole isn't horrible.
The passing offense is average, with 243.2 yards per game good enough for No. 17 in the league. But overall, the Jets are No. 12 in the league in total offense, boosted by a relatively solid running game. But turnovers and penalties continue to plague the team.
The Jets are minus-10 this year in turnover margin, second worst in the league. The turnover issue mainly falls on the rookie Smith who has been intercepted eight times and has three fumbles. Smith admitted on Monday that at times he's been “reckless with the ball.”
On a Monday conference call with the media, Ryan said he wasn't prepared to bench Smith at this juncture of the season, despite his struggles.
“We still have to do a much better job with Geno in particular [with teaching him], ‘I have to protect the football at all costs.’ You can’t be nonchalant about it. You have to protect the ball,” Ryan said. “You can talk about it until you are blue in the face. But when it happens, now you see it over and over. That is the way we can improve.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.