Marcus Maye’s injury absence could be short despite potential Jets drama

Marcus Maye’s ankle injury may only cost him two games.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh said the starting safety could return for the Oct. 24 game against the Patriots following the bye week.

“It was a little more than a sprained ankle. It’s not a traditional sprain and thankfully for the bye week, he’ll only miss a couple of games rather than three or four,” Saleh said on Friday. “We’re hoping he’ll be back for New England.”

When the news broke, Maye’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, posted an interesting tweet: “Should be back fully healthy just before the trade deadline…” The implication was that Maye, who is playing under a franchise tag this season after he and the Jets couldn’t come to terms on a contract extension, could ask to be dealt prior to the trading deadline. Saleh declined to address the tweet.

“He’s been a pleasure to work with and he’s gotten better every single week and we’re just excited to get him back so he can stack up great days and show why he’s one of the better safeties in this league,” Saleh said.

09/08/21 - Jets free safety Marcus Maye carries the ball during practice
Marcus Maye could only miss two games with an ankle injury.
Bill Kostroun

The Jets plan to mix and match at safety, and will activate Ashtyn Davis and Sharrod Neasman on Sunday. The duo, who started the season on injured reserve, returned to practice Wednesday. Adrian Colbert and Jarrod Wilson had been splitting time opposite Maye at safety since Lamarcus Joyner was lost to a torn triceps, which likely ended his season in Week 1.

“We’ll have a good little rotation in there and play the hot hand, but they’ve all got to be ready to play,” Saleh said.

Davis, the team’s third-round pick a year ago, will be eased in. He had foot surgery during the offseason and missed all of training camp. Whoever is playing safety for the Jets won’t have to deal with the Titans’ top two receivers, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, who will miss the game with hamstring injuries.


Saleh on rookie quarterback Zach Wilson’s ugly start that is low-lighted by seven interceptions: “I mean I think he’s suffering every scar you can possibly imagine. But it’s a good thing, it really is. It’s a good thing because he is one of those guys who gets to the film room, he gets to the meeting room, he’s asking the right questions, he’s got [a] tremendous process.”

The Jets have scored a combined six points the last two weeks, as Wilson has struggled mightily. But Saleh expects that to turn around.

“He’s only going to get better and when it clicks, everyone’s going to see why he was the second overall pick,” Saleh said. “It’s just a matter of it clicking.”


Tight end Tyler Kroft (rib) and running back La’Mical Perine (non-COVID-19 illness) are questionable. Both were full participants in practice on Friday.

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