Zach Wilson’s favorite target is doubtful for Braxton Berrios’ season-finale vs. Bills – The Mercury News

The good news is that the Jets’ season is almost over because Gang Green’s receivers are running out.

Braxton Berrios, a fan favorite and Zach Wilson’s favorite target in recent weeks, “doesn’t feel good” to play against the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday, according to head coach Robert Saleh. Berios is dealing with a quad contusion and is officially listed as a suspect.

Berios’ absence will be another blow to the offense that is already missing Corey Davis and Elijah Moore.

The Patriots’ former sixth-round pick provided a scoring spark for a Jets offense playing without his two best receivers. In his last four games, Berios has produced 180 receiving yards and four touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving and one kickoff return).

Earlier in the week, Saleh believed the injury was not serious and thought Berios would be available against the Bills in the season finale. But that optimism has faded.

The Jets also hoped that Moore would return from his quad injury. But the star rookie only practiced on the rehab side of the practice area throughout the week and never parted ways with the team. The coaching staff wanted to see how Moore’s body reacted throughout the week. But his injury recovery did not go well, so he will not suit up on Sunday.

However, there is good news.

Jamieson Crowder, who missed the last two weeks with a calf injury, is on track to play in Buffalo. This mitigates the shock of the possible absence of Berios as they are interchangeable in both slots. Crowder currently leads the Jets in receptions (50) and is third in receiving yards (431).

The return of the crowd should be promoted. But against a Bills team paying for a division title, the Jets need to lead the charge to keep the run game in the game.

“When it comes down to it it’s January playoff football,” said Jets pioneer Michael Carter. “The best teams in the world have to be able to run the ball. So our goal is to set up the run game early.”

Bill’s pass defense has forced the third most interceptions (19) and teams have struggled to throw at him throughout the season. Buffalo’s defense allowed an NFL-best 2,763 yards and dropped only 11 touchdowns (also top in the league) through the air.

The Jets’ rapid attack has been strong in the last two games (423 yards, the best in the NFL on that stretch) and if there’s any weakness with the Bills’ elite defense, it’s the run defense.

“The run game is always going to be important. This is one thing we are trying to establish. i think o-line, john benton, mike [LaFleur]”They’ve done an incredible job speeding it up,” Saleh said. “But especially at this time of year. It’s cold, it’s going to be slippery. It’s going to be a little wet. You are in December, being able to play football is everything. There’s something about the run game that just gets worn down on people. And when you can do it, it makes it easier to play a football game and it opens up everything else. ,

But back to the permanence of getting Gang Green’s weapon.

Injuries within the Jets receiving corps piled up over the course of the season. Moore lost six games with a quad and a concussion. Davis missed eight games with a hip and then a core muscle injury that ended his season. Crowder missed five because of his calf, groin and COVID-19. Keelan Cole missed three due to a knee injury and COVID-19.

Wilson has played for only two games (vs. The Eagles and Falcons) with his top three receiving choices (Davis, Moore and Crowder). So when the Jets enter the off season, they need to add depth and upper-tier pieces to the situation.

They are close in terms of talent with Moore and Davis, but they could use a few more pieces because the receiver is a place where players often suffer soft tissue injuries. So adding depth here will make the Jets better prepared when it comes to injury and Wilson will have the high-end talent to throw.

And losing a player like Berios wouldn’t be such a devastating blow.