New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne is sitting out of practice and his left hand and wrist are in a cast.
The New York Jets enter the upcoming season hoping that their secondary will be improved. The team added Trumaine Johnson in free agency, pushing Morris Claiborne to the number two cornerback role that he is a better fit for.
However, it appears that the secondary has taken a hit in OTAs, as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports via Twitter that Claiborne is sitting out practice and that his hand is in a cast.
Here's some news that #Jets fans won't like: Cornerback Morris Claiborne is watching OTAs with a cast on his left hand/wrist.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) June 5, 2018
Claiborne has struggled with injuries throughout his career, although his 15 games last season were the most he’s played since his rookie season. He had one interception and eight passes defended while often being left out to dry by a weak pass rush. He recorded 34 tackles and nine tackle assists.
In his six-year NFL career, he has recorded five interceptions and 34 defended passes. He’s forced one fumble and recovered four, returning one for a touchdown during his rookie season of 2012.
He’s picked up 160 tackles and 34 assisted tackles. He’s never recorded a sack, although much of that comes from playing exclusively on the outside and never being a slot cornerback, meaning he rarely, if ever, blitzes.
The Jets do have some depth at cornerback, and should Claiborne be forced to miss an extended amount of time Buster Skrine and Juston Burris would be the two players most likely to take his spot in the lineup.
Skrine has spent the past three seasons with the Jets, recording three interceptions, 21 pass defenses, two forced fumbles, and two recovered fumbles. He spent four seasons with the Browns before joining the Jets and has nine interceptions for his career. He’s played mostly in the slot during his Jets tenure, recording two sacks.
Burris was a fourth-round draft pick of the Jets in 2016 and has spent the past two seasons with the team. He has two interceptions, 7 pass defenses, one forced fumble, and one recovered fumble in his 30 NFL games.
However, with it being very early in the offseason program, the hope is no doubt that Claiborne will be able to return by the time the games start.