Can Todd Bowles keep Chris Ivory healthy after bye? Quote:
Jets uncertain if Leonard Williams, David Harris will be healthy after bye
Chris Ivory will have plenty of time to recover after punishing the Miami Dolphins for a career-high 166 yards and a touchdown on Sunday in London.
However, Ivory better soak up this bye week of rest. After this break, the New York Jets will need their workhorse for the remaining 12 games and perhaps postseason if they can get there.
Head coach Todd Bowles knows he will have to walk a fine line this season. He wants and needs Ivory to set the physical tone for the Jets. But he also has to find a way to keep the 6-foot, 222-pound bruiser fresh and healthy somehow as well.
"It is a long haul," Bowles said. "After this we got 12 straight. We are going to monitor to make sure that he is getting his work in but we are still giving some breaks in between here and there. We know he is a bell cow and everything else but we still got two other guys that can run the ball."
The Jets' backfield, though, is banged up. Backup Bilal Powell suffered a groin injury against the Dolphins. Ivory was already coming back after being an active scratch in Week 2 against the Eagles with a quad injury. And the Jets have Stevan Ridley (knee) on the PUP list.
Ridley could come off PUP between Weeks 6-to-8. And there's Zac Stacy, who gives the Jets another veteran running back to use.
Bowles could rest Ivory during the week by having him go limited in practices. It remains to be seen if he will give Ivory the ball as much as he did on Sunday when the back carried it 29 times.
One thing Bowles won't do is discourage Ivory from running as hard and physical as he does even if it puts him at risk of injury.
"His style, his physical nature, he really is a great representation of what we are trying to be as Jets," quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "Just a strong physical guy, gives 100-percent effort on every play. We are always trying to establish that physical presence with our offensive and defensive line. His running style is certainly well suited for that."
"He is a physical specimen," Fitzpatrick added of Ivory staying healthy for the rest of the season. "If anybody can handle it, it certainly would be him."
Todd Bowles ideally would like the bye week to come midway through the season.
But given the Jets’ injuries coming out of London, Bowles thinks the Jets’ bye comes at the perfect time even if it is during Week 5.
Safety Calvin Pryor (bruised knee), linebacker David Harris (quad), defensive end Leonard Williams (sprained ankle) and running back Bilal Powell (groin) all go into the bye week banged up. And Bowles isn’t sure if all of them will be ready to play after the bye.
“I hope so but it is too early to tell,” Bowles said. “As long as they get treatment and everything heals, hopefully that is the process. But I won’t be able to tell until next week right now.”
Perhaps highlighting how much his injured players need to heal up, Bowles said he welcomes the bye now. Offensive lineman Willie Colon (knee), tight end Jeff Cumberland (concussion), wide receiver Chris Owusu (knee), linebacker Trevor Reilly (finger) and cornerback Darrin Walls (hamstring) all did not play in London against the Dolphins and also are on the mend.
“Initially, I would always say Week 8,” Bowles said of his preference for when the bye should be. “But with a couple of guys getting banged up, I would say it came at a pretty good time.”
One positive for the Jets is the impending return of Sheldon Richardson from a four-game suspension. That will help especially if Williams’ injury proves to be troublesome.
Hope this week off is enough rest.