Jets coach Adam Gase is dealing with the loss of another player after the NFL handed down a four-game suspension to linebacker Brandon Copeland this week.
Gase and the team have known this was a possibility and have been rotating players at outside linebacker in training camp, but the official word hit Wednesday.
“It’s unfortunate,” Gase said. “He’s a guy that’s been impactful over his career. He’s one of those guys in the locker room that tries to do everything right. It’s an unfortunate situation. It’s tough for him to deal with. It is what it is now. We know the verdict and we’ve kind of had an idea of what was going on going through the process you have to go through with the league. That’s kind of why we’ve been doing things the way we’ve been doing them.”
The Jets likely will give several players a look at Copeland’s spot. Harvey Langi was with the starting defense in Thursday’s practice. The Jets have been hit hard at linebacker lately, with inside linebacker Avery Williamson tearing the ACL in his right knee last week to end his season and now Copeland getting a four-game ban for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
“I think the good thing with the outside linebacker crew is we have pretty good depth there,” Gase said. “Anytime you lose veteran players that have played good football, have done things right over their career, anytime those guys aren’t there that hurts us.”
Copeland did not practice Thursday because of a thumb injury he sustained in Wednesday’s practice. Copeland can practice with the team through next week and play in the final two preseason games before his suspension begins.
CB Trumaine Johnson was on the field early in practice Thursday stretching with the team, but he did not practice at all. Johnson is recovering from a hamstring injury suffered just under two weeks ago. Gase has said the team is targeting Week 1 for his return, but it is not an easy injury on which to put a recovery timeline.
“It’s a hamstring injury,” Gase said. “He’s pushing to try to get back as soon as he can. That’s kind of the first step to get him back out there. The strength and conditioning guys get a hold of him. There’s a process behind how we do that with getting with the trainers and then moving to the strength and conditioning and then practice.”
Guards Kelechi Osemele (pec) and Brian Winters (shoulder) did individual drills Thursday but sat out team drills. Neither will play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Saints. … The Jets signed WR Quincy Adeboyejo and waived WR J.J. Jones. Adeboyejo played in one regular season game for the Ravens in 2017.