Robert Saleh is standing behind the trade of Joe Flacco amid mounting criticism.
Because Flacco is not vaccinated, he wasn’t able to play in the first game after the Oct. 25 trade with the Eagles — he had to test negative for five days before being allowed in the Jets’ practice facility — or be ready for the following game on a short week. Now, he may miss Sunday’s game against the Texans as a close contact of fellow quarterback Mike White, who has tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’ll stand by this forever,” Saleh said Wednesday. “When someone offers a sixth-round pick for a player of Joe’s caliber, to me, there is no risk. You’re playing with house money. I’ve said it before, you can trade back one spot and get that sixth-round pick back in a hurry. I know we look at draft capital, but that’s an easy one.”
The 36-year-old Flacco still could be active, if he tests negative every day through Sunday. He can fly to Houston on Saturday and test on Sunday there. White has been ruled out. The Jets will likely go with Josh Johnson as the backup to Zach Wilson, who is returning following a knee injury that cost him the past four games.
Michael Carter’s injury likely will mean a heavier workload for Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman, Saleh said. La’Mical Perine and Austin Walter could also be in the mix, but Johnson and Coleman are expected to see their roles expand.
“Those guys have proven they can run in this system,” Saleh said. “Tevin Coleman has proven throughout his entire career that he can run in this system. So I know those two are very excited for an opportunity.”
Two weeks ago, the Jets opted not to match top cornerback Bryce Hall with Bills wideout Stefon Diggs, and they were burned. Though the Dolphins last weekend didn’t have a player of that caliber, the Jets didn’t just keep Hall to one side. Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said it wasn’t a change in philosophy, but more a result of a quad injury to starting cornerback Brandin Echols. His backup, Isaiah Dunn, is used to switching sides.
“With Isaiah coming in the game for Echols, it gave us maybe a little bit more versatility that way,” Ulbrich said. “And then Bryce is a guy, he doesn’t prefer a side. I know we had him on the left side a majority of time, but he’s not a guy that’s absolutely married to that side.”
Ulbrich said they could match Hall on speedy Texans No. 1 receiver Brandin Cooks on third downs this week.
Receiver Denzel Mims, who missed the past two games after testing positive for COVID-19, is back in the facility, but still has health tests he needs to pass in order to return to practice. … WR Corey Davis (groin), LB C.J. Mosley (shoulder) and DL Shaq Lawson (wrist), Folorunso Fatukasi (foot) and Nathan Shepherd (elbow) were limited in practice.