The Jets lost more than just a game Sunday. In the process of another tough defeat, they also lost two quarterbacks, with starter Chad Pennington possibly done for the season with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Whether it's torn or not, it has been painfully apparent in the first few weeks of the season that Pennington's shoulder is just not right. His throws have lacked zip on the deep outs and curls, and Sunday at the Meadowlands it looked like he was playing with a lot of discomfort.
Not to be lost in the Pennington issue is the injury suffered by backup Jay Fiedler. The former Dolphins quarterback also apparently has a shoulder injury that will keep him out of this week's game, if not a lot longer.
Five days away from a big game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Jets have serious issues.
In instances like these, a team's pro personnel department becomes an extremely important asset. As director of pro personnel with the Cleveland Browns, it was my job to prepare and maintain an up-to-date emergency list, which was distributed every Friday to key front office people in case injuries arose. The list included 10-15 players at each position, ranked based on how their abilities could help us. It contained each player's name, height, weight, speed, age, medical history, most recent team he played for, contact information and his agent's name and contact information.
As the Jets coaches try to get Brooks Bollinger prepared to play this week, the personnel department is at work scouring its emergency list to find the best possible candidates to try out this week and possibly add to the roster.
The Jets filled one need with Vinny Testaverde, the most experienced QB available. He is a smart, reliable veteran who brings a lot of leadership to the table. He has played in numerous offensive systems, and of any QB the Jets could bring in, he probably would have the least trouble picking up the system. Testaverde is a big pocket passer who still has a good enough arm to make the throws he'll need to make in their system. While he has very limited mobility and his release isn't as quick as it once was, he is experienced at beating the blitz and can get the ball where it needs to go. Moreover, his leadership and the respect he would garner from veteran players give the Jets the chance to win.