Denzel Mims was ready to be unwrapped last week. Jets head coach Robert Saleh pledged the receiver would “get some opportunity” after he had been targeted just once this season.
Now it’s possible Mims, who missed practice Wednesday with an illness (not COVID-19, the Jets said), will be put right back in storage.
The most curiously absent Jet so far this season, Mims played Sunday against the Titans after missing two straight games, but was a different kind of no-show. Now, he might be inactive again, after receiver Elijah Moore returned to limited practice from concussion protocol and might play Sunday in London against the Falcons.
Mims, a 2020 second-round pick, was not targeted once in the victory over Tennessee. He was on the field for 10 plays, all on offense.
Zach Wilson’s best professional game involved a heavy dosage of Corey Davis, seven catches for 61 yards from Jamison Crowder and several big plays from Keelan Cole. Braxton Berrios’ role was minimized, but he returned kicks.
“We got a really good [wide receiver] room. That’s a credit to [general manager] Joe [Douglas] and his staff and what they’ve been able to build,” Saleh said Wednesday. “But this isn’t an indictment on Denzel. It’s just that there’s guys right now who’ve been available — everyone knows what happened in OTAs and all that.”
Mims missed time during the offseason because of food poisoning, and while Saleh said “he’s catching up,” it is hard to believe he is still making up lost time from the spring.
Receiver Jeff Smith, who has a concussion, also missed practice, but he’s a special teams player who has dressed instead of Mims. There might be more obstacles that keep Mims, a fast, 6-foot-3, big-play threat, from playing.
“I’ll never make a promise I can’t keep, but if he’s putting in the work the way he is, then he should be active,” Saleh said. “But it’s not just the receiver room that he’s competing against. There are the linebackers, the safeties, the corners, trying to get people involved.”
Is Mims frustrated?
“I would be upset if he wasn’t frustrated,” Saleh said. “He’s a competitive young man.”
Javelin Guidry, a 23-year-old defensive back signed as an undrafted free agent last year, played cornerback and in the dime and nickel packages against the Titans. Saleh wanted to “pump him up for a second.”
“He’s been an absolute stud,” the coach said of the Utah product. “We’re very fortunate to have him. He makes a lot of that possible because of his willingness to do extra.”
CB Brandin Echols, who exited last week’s game with a concussion, has moved on to the next progression of the protocol and could play against the Falcons, Saleh said.
Also not practicing, were Mims, Smith, S Marcus Maye (ankle), S Adrian Colbert (concussion), TE Tyler Kroft (back), and DL Nathan Shepherd (knee).
LB Blake Cashman, who sustained a hamstring injury against the Panthers in Week 1, returned to practice.
The Jets signed DB Natrell Jamerson, most recently with the Saints, to the practice squad.