Sam Darnold will have his top target in prime-time Thursday night against the Denver Broncos.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that receiver Jamison Crowder is expected to play tonight, per a source informed of the decision.
Crowder, who missed the past two games due to a hamstring injury, won’t be 100 percent, but will play through the issue this week.
It’s good news for Darnold, who has looked lost at sea without his top receiver. Crowder caught seven of 13 targets for 115 yards and a TD in Week 1 before the injury knocked him out a fortnight.
Having Crowder on the field, even at less than full strength, should give Darnold a wideout who can win one-on-one matchups against man and find soft spots in zone.
The Jets receiver corps has been ravaged by injury. Breshad Perriman (ankle) is already ruled out, and Chris Hogan (ribs, knee) is questionable. Crowder’s return should boost a passing game that relied on Braxton Berrios last week with the top three options injured.
Elsewhere for the Jets offense, stud rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton (shoulder) isn’t expected to start, per Pelissero, but will likely dress in case of emergency. Don’t expect the impressive first-round pick to be put in harm’s way unless it’s absolutely necessary. The last thing the Jets need is to see one of their few young players who have shown potential to miss a big chunk of his rookie season.
Across the sideline, the Broncos expect to again be without one of their top weapons. Running back Phillip Lindsay is considered unlikely to play Thursday, per Pelissero. Lindsay practiced this week and was feeling well enough to make the trip to New York. But it might make more sense to give his turf toe injury another week of recovery. He and the team will talk about it before making a final decision, Pelissero added.
Lindsay has been sidelined since the first half of Week 1.