New York Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson will likely miss his fifth straight game but is hopeful he could be back soon.
In terms of a personal report, however, Johnson feels he’s returning to game day form.
The veteran defender spoke at his Florham Park locker on Friday afternoon, just before the Jets departed for South Florida. The week of Dolphins preparation was monumental for Johnson, who took part in practice on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. He’ll nonetheless likely sit out for the fifth consecutive game, still nursing a right quad injury suffered in an October practice.
“It’s up to the coaches and players,” Johnson stressed. “I do what I’m told, I push it every day, I feel great.”
Though not explicitly stating it, Johnson did seem to express a belief that he could play on Sunday afternoon but continues to leave final judgment in the hands of the football and medical staffs. Johnson is looking to be especially careful with the ailment, as he remarked it was similar to an injury he suffered while playing with the St. Louis Rams in 2015, one that kept him out for two games.
“For the most part, I feel great,” he said. “I had a similar injury three years ago. It was about the same time limit. As soon as I did it, I knew what it was.”
This week did appear to be a step in the right direction for Johnson, who said he partook in everything except “live team reps”, his activities including individual drills and scout team.
Johnson signed a five-year deal with the Jets in March, with $34 million of a $72.5 million contract guaranteed. He is disappointed that he’s unable to help his teammates’ efforts on the field but praised his fellow defenders for doing a “tremendous” job in his absence.
“It’s always definitely tough. You feel like you can go out there and help the team win games,” he said. “But I’ve got a tremendous squad, and they’ve been there for me. Coaches have been there for me, trainers have been there for me.”
In terms of his status for the Jets’ return home to Buffalo next weekend, Johnson again left it up to the deliberations of coaches and trainers.
Head coach Todd Bowles, speaking shortly before Johnson, stated that his cornerback would be “more likely not playing”.
Thus far for his Jets career, Johnson, 28, has tallied 13 tackles and two turnovers (one interception and forced fumble each) in four games. He had three tackles in the Jets’ first meet-up with Miami, a 20-12 loss at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 16.
In terms of the Jets’ other Friday injury revelations, tight end Neal Sterling (concussion) was the only New Yorker listed as out for Sunday’s Miami visit. Kevin Pierre-Louis (foot) was, like Johnson, marked as doubtful. Receivers Quincy Enunwa (ankle), Robby Anderson (ankle), and Andre Roberts (back) are all questionable game-time decisions according to Bowles, as are defensive lineman Steve McLendon (ankle) and linebacker Frankie Luvu (neck).
After two days of inactivity, Enunwa and Anderson were limited participants in Friday’s practice, working to the side with coaches before joining their fellow catchers in route running. Bowles remarked it was “too early” to confirm their Sunday status while mentioning that Roberts was battling “soreness”.
Meanwhile in Miami, the divisional rival Dolphins revealed some dire medical news on Friday, as head coach Adam Gase announced the loss of cornerback Cordrea Tankersley for the season, per The Phinsider’s Kevin Nogle.
Tankersley, who suffered a knee injury during Thursday practice, is not the only Miami defender already ruled out, as defensive end Charles Harris (calf) will also be absent.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (shoulder) was confirmed to miss his fourth straight game earlier this week, while cornerback Xavien Howard (ankle), receiver Kenny Stills (groin), and tight end A.J. Derby (foot) are all questionable. Derby has not played since Sept. 23 against Oakland.