ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Justin Zimmer #61 of the Buffalo Bills dives to make a tackle on Le'Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets during the first quarter at Bills Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York.
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

The New York Jets lost two more starters to injury on Sunday, and they could be out for a while. It’s time for the backups to step up.

The New York Jets will likely be without both Le’Veon Bell and Blake Cashman for the next few weeks. Monday, Adam Gase told reporters that the two starters are likely to be out, but didn’t want to put a timeline on them.

Both are huge blows. Le’Veon Bell hasn’t been a great runner since coming to the Jets, but his pass blocking and receiving ability are vital to the success of the offense. That burden will now likely fall to Frank Gore and rookie La’Mical Perine. Neither of whom is a strong receiver.

The good news is that the Jets’ running game is more effective with power backs. Bell only averaged 2.3 yards per carry before his injury, while Gore averaged 4.0 yards per carry. Perine also fits the power back archetype. So, the running game should be more effective, even if the passing game isn’t.

Losing Cashman is a bigger deal than it seems. He’s the Jets’ best coverage linebacker and he was set to be a starter all year with C.J. Mosley opting out. Now Avery Williamson and Harvey Langi will have to fill that void. Both are poor in coverage.

When healthy, Williamson is a better run defender than Cashman, and has more starting experience. If he’s good to go, expect him to take over that role.

Langi took the role on Sunday, and struggled mightily. He missed a number of tackles and was picked on in coverage, though he made one highlight play saving a touchdown.

The Jets have been victimized by injuries since the beginning of training camp. At some point, the backups are going to need to step up.

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