jarrad davis jets
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The linebacker suffered the injury during Saturday’s preseason victory over the Packers. The health issue forced him to exit the game.

The Jets will be without linebacker Jarrad Davis for the time being.

The Athletic’s Connor Hughes reports the ankle injury the free-agent pickup suffered Saturday against the Packers will sideline him into the regular season. He will hopefully return around the time of the team’s bye week, which lands in Week 6 (week of Sunday, Oct. 17).

Davis was to be one of the starting linebackers alongside C.J. Mosley in Robert Saleh‘s 4-3 scheme. The Jets signed him to a one-year, $5.5 million deal in March after he spent four seasons with Detroit.

Prior to his exit in Saturday’s win at Lambeau Field, Davis recorded a trio of tackles.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first Jets 2021 free-agent acquisition to go down with an injury. Defensive end Carl Lawson, who earned a three-year, $45 million contract with Gang Green, suffered a season-ending Achilles tear last Thursday.

“I never feel sorry for myself, I feel terrible for the two that are injured,” Saleh told the media Monday morning. “Jarrad has been nothing but a professional since he’s walked in here. Same thing with Carl. The amount of work they put in and how much they’ve studied and how much they’ve bought into our scheme and the way we’re trying to get things done. And for them to lose part of their season, and in Carl’s case all of his season, I feel sick for them. Because the amount of investment these young men have made to this game only to have it taken all on one play — I don’t think it’s hard on me, I think it’s much harder on them.

“We’ll figure it out, someone will step up and we’ll keep on moving.”

How to ‘keep on moving’

Davis’ injury luckily doesn’t require the amount of recovery time that Lawson’s does. Regardless, the Jets still must find Jarrad’s temporary replacement, so it’s beneficial that they already employ options on the roster.

The Jets could start third-year man Blake Cashman if they decide to provide him with a final roster spot past the training camp and preseason periods.

Rookies Jamien Sherwood (fifth-round, Auburn) and Hamsah Nasirildeen (sixth-round, Florida State) will also be in the mix. The former first-year player has certainly impressed Saleh and the coaching staff thus far.

“We really like our linebacker group. We’ve got a combination of youth and experience,” the rookie head coach said. “Sherwood has been doing a really nice job, so we’re expecting him to slide in and pick up where Jarrad left off. He’s been having a really nice camp and it’s an opportunity for him to step in and take on a bigger role.”

“Sherwood is exactly what we thought,” he later added. “When we drafted, and I want to make sure I’m saying this the right way, I’m not comparing him to [49ers linebacker] Fred [Warner] yet, he’s got a long way to go. But Fred Warner played nickel in college and was maybe 220-225 [pounds] his rookie year. Threw him in there at mike linebacker, started him day one, and he took off.

“Sherwood has a tremendous mindset to him, he’s extremely smart, he’s got great command of the playbook already, he’s got respect of his peers, he’s an unbelievable communicator…he’s got tremendous length, tremendous instincts, he’s got a great feel for the game. So, again for him, there’s going to be some hiccups along the way, but we feel with reps he’s only going to get better.”

There’s a chance the Jets could be starting a pair of rookie linebackers when they take on the Panthers in Week 1 (Sunday, Sept. 12).

For temporary depth purposes, the Jets may also look to the free-agent market, which will obviously grow as rosters around the league shrink ahead of the regular season.

Depth is crucial — injuries are always possible, which this team understands extremely well at this point.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.