Jets’ injuries put pressure on Buster Skrine
There was a lot of injury news out of New York Jets camp today, particularly in the defensive backfield as both Antonio Allen and Dee Milliner have gone down.
Allen tore his Achilles tendon and was placed on the waived/injured list, ending his season. His best fit in new head coach Todd Bowles’ scheme was likely as a hybrid box linebacker/safety hybrid and that opportunity should fall to 2014 first-round pick Calvin Pryor, who showed well when placed in a similar role last season.
As for Milliner, his injuries have piled up as he heads into his third season in the league. He’ll reportedly miss six to eight weeks with a wrist injury after playing only 118 snaps last season. His 74.7 overall rating actually puts him higher than newly signed cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who is expected to start opposite fellow free-agent signing Darrelle Revis (88.4 rating). With Cromartie best suited on the outside, Milliner was likely destined to man the slot, a position he’s only played on 23 snaps in his two seasons.
Look for yet another free-agent signing, Buster Skrine, to get first crack there while Milliner is out. We had no problem with the Jets’ signings of Revis and Cromartie, but Skrine’s signing more than raised a few eyebrows. Now he looks primed to play in the slot, though he comes in with a 49.7 rating after three subpar seasons with the Browns.
The losses of Allen and Milliner depletes the Jets’ depth for the time being, especially for a coach like Bowles who loves to trot out versatile defensive backs, but Revis cures a lot of ills and Cromartie provides value against bigger receivers. Now it’s a matter of Skrine taking a step forward in his new scheme.