The New York Jets 5-2 start to the season took a hard blow on Monday with coach Robert Saleh announcing that star rookie running back Breece Hall and offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker will both miss the rest of the season with significant injuries.
Saleh opened Monday’s press conference with the grim news that Hall suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s victory against the Denver Broncos while Vera-Tucker will undergo season-ending surgery on his triceps.
“It’s always tough, those are two potential pro bowlers between Breece and AVT,” Saleh said of the pair. “It’s the NFL and it’s next man up. Michael Carter has proven that he can carry the load, and Ty Johnson has done a really nice job.”
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“With our offensive line, it’s been all year with guys shuffling and just got a lot of faith in the guys that are here to be able to step in and continue to do the job that was done before them.”
Saleh said he has “all the faith in the world” that the Jets offense will be able to continue playing at the same level, despite losing a critical member of their run game.
“I think they’ll be fine. I always say this, somebody go up to Michael Carter and say that he can’t do it. Somebody go to Ty Johnson and tell him that he can’t do it. Somebody go to Cedric (Ogbuehi) and tell him that he can’t do it. They’re going to look at you sideways. We’ve got all the faith in the world in those guys that they can go in and step in and do the job.”
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Hall has been the key to the Jets’ offense this season. He has a team-leading 463 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 80 attempts, including a 62-yard touchdown run against the Broncos. He also had 19 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown.
Vera-Tucker has been one of the most versatile players for the Jets since getting drafted in the first round of the 2021 draft, starting at left guard, left tackle, right guard and right tackle during his two seasons.
“It’s a great opportunity for somebody else to step up and put their name out in the open, but I’m more hurt for Breece and AVT because of the season’s that they’ve been having, and it sucks for them because of what they’re doing and the direction that they’ve been going,” Saleh said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.