Friday, November 1, 2013
Green Day: Crisis at tight end
By Rich Cimini
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- To say the New York Jets are hurting at tight end is an understatement.
With Jeff Cumberland (concussion) sidelined this week, and with Kellen Winslow serving the fourth game of a four-game league suspension, the Jets will face the New Orleans Saints Sunday with ... (drum roll, please)
Konrad Reuland and Zach Sudfeld at tight end.
Reuland and Sudfeld have played a total of 64 offensive snaps and have three receptions. Neither one is a good run-blocker, which could be a problem because the Jets should be in a run-oriented mode against the Saints' suspect rush defense.
What to do? The Jets have to get creative.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said there are a "handful" of players who can play multiple positions, hinting there could be some "double-dutying." Backup guard Vladimir Ducasse has been used as an extra blocker in the past, but there's a chance he could be pressed into right-guard duty if Willie Colon (bruised calf) can't play or can't finish the game. They could reach to the practice squad and elevate tight end Chris Pantale. Or -- who knows? -- maybe they can use defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. He played one snap on offense in the Week 5 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
All we know is that Reuland and Sudfeld, who began the season with the New England Patriots, will play.
"One guy [Sudfeld] probably has a little better skill set as a receiver, one's probably a little bit better blocker," Rex Ryan said. "So if Konrad starts, expect a run. If Sudfeld starts, expect a pass. No, it's not like that, but we will play them in different things. It's not just a set starter."
ICYMI: Cumberland and WR Santonio Holmes (hamstring) haven't practiced this week and won't play Sunday. It'll be Holmes' fifth straight game on the sideline. ... The Jets could use CB Antonio Cromartie to cover TE Jimmy Graham. Hey, why not? The Patriots used CB Aqib Talib on Graham a few weeks ago, and he shut him down. ... On Friday, former Jets G Brandon Moore will formally announce his retirement at the team's facility. ... WR David Nelson said he was fined by the league for his block on Cincinnati Bengals CB Adam "Pacman" Jones. Nelson said he will appeal. ... Check out this week's edition of "Gang Green Report." ... For the best Saints coverage, read my colleague Mike Triplett on the ESPN.com Saints team page.