You aren’t going to be at full strength for all of your games in a NFL season. Not surprisingly on a quick turnaround against the Denver Broncos, a handful of backup players will be seeing an increase of reps to compensate for a few minor injuries.
At running back, special teams ace Joe McKnight should finally see extended action due to LaDainian Tomlinson missing the game with a sprained MCL. It will be nice to see McKnight get to catch a few screens in space and receive the primary third down responsibilities. He projects as the team’s long term third down back so this is a big opportunity for him. Also at running back rookie Bilal Powell should be active for the first time and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a few handoffs, as the team will likely want a look at him when something is actually on the line.
Over at wide receiver, Jeremy Kerley and Patrick Turner will likely be game-time decisions. There is a very good chance recently signed WR Eron Riley will get to see some action against his former team. Here is what Jon Heath from www.BroncoTalk.net had to say on Riley –
Riley, 6-3, 207 pounds, is a second year player out of Duke that went undrafted in 2009. He has loads of potential and a sick vertical leap, which compliments his impressive speed and reliable hands. I was really hoping the Broncos would activate him to the active roster because I knew somebody would sign him off Denver’s practice squad if he stayed there too long. In the preseason, Riley led the Broncos in catches (6), yards (187) and receiving touchdowns (2).
Finally on defense, Rich Cimini noted that rookie OLB Garret McIntyre was playing outside linebacker in the Jets base 3-4 defense against New England. Obviously they didn’t spend much time in their base package against the Patriots but they will be on Thursday night. Look for a ton of reps from McIntyre.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if TE Shawn Nelson was active for the first time and taking some reps from Matthew Mulligan (maybe that is just wishful thinking from me). Also if Eric Smith continues to struggle, doesn’t Emmanuel Cook deserve a look with Brodney Pool still nursing an injury?