In Sunday’s loss against the Vikings, the New York Jets experienced another DB injury, this time to Doug Middleton.
Entering this season, one of the strongest areas the New York Jets could point to on their roster was the safety position. The 2017 NFL draft brought playmakers Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye in the first two rounds. Both players enjoyed excellent rookie campaigns and were looking forward to continuing their success this season.
In the preseason, Maye went down with a foot injury and missed the first three games of the season. In his absence, Doug Middleton played alongside Adams in the secondary. When Maye returned in Week 4 against the Jaguars, Middleton went back to being a reserve.
Last week against the Colts, Maye suffered another injury when he broke his left thumb, sidelining him for 3-4 weeks. That led to Middleton returning to his starting role Sunday against the Vikings.
According to Manish Meta of the New York Daily News, Middleton suffered a torn pectoral during the Jets 37-31 loss to Minnesota and will be out for the remainder of the season.
Terrance Brooks, who the Jets acquired from the Eagles last August, replaced Middleton at free safety against the Vikings and should make his second career start this Sunday when the Jets travel to Chicago.
The Jets signed Middleton as an undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State in 2016. He was released before the season started and put on the practice squad. After being activated for the Jets final four games of 2016, he missed all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle (a different one than he tore Sunday).
Brooks, a five-year veteran, has appeared in all seven games for the Jets this season after appearing in 15 a year ago (starting one). He was a third-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2013 where he played for two seasons, appearing in 23 games. The Eagles signed him off waivers in 2016 where he saw action in 11 games and collected his first career interception in Week 16 against the Giants.
With Middleton out for the season and Maye for another 3-4 weeks, the Jets will look for another player to plug into the free safety spot. Rontez Miles is due to come off the PUP list this week, and the Jets could look to bring back J.J. Wilcox, who was cut on October 8th after appearing in five games.
Other considerations to fill the Jets void at safety are practice squad players Brandon Bryant (2018 supplemental draft pick) and Jeremy Clark (2017 sixth-round pick). Clark is a corner but played safety during mini-camp.
The Jets are already dealing with injuries to their starting cornerback Trumaine Johnson (quad) along with slot corner Buster Skrine (concussion). Both players missed the Jets loss to the Vikings and their availability against the Bears is unknown.