Jets right tackle Breno Giacomini, who has been on the physically unable to perform list since July, admitted Thursday that his lower back strain might keep him out for the beginning of the regular season.
“I don’t know when I’ll be back. I’m probably like 80 percent speed right now. It’s not where I need to be, to be on the field,” Giacomini told reporters, including Darryl Slater of NJ.com.
Starting the season on the PUP list – which will “probably” happen, according to Giacomini – would cause the 31-year-old to miss the Jets’ first six games. Like Giacomini, head coach Todd Bowles doesn’t seem optimistic about the 6-foot-7, 318-pounder’s status.
“It’s getting close [to Week 1], and he’s not practicing yet, so we’ll see. Unless he’s practicing, he’s not better. He can’t practice,” said Bowles.
As a result, Bowles acknowledged that the Jets “have talked about” adding outside help (via Connor Hughes of NJ.com). The problem, as Hughes notes, is the lack of intriguing options available.
The rival Giants were making a push to acquire the 49ers’ Anthony Davis earlier this month, but San Francisco didn’t feel inclined to move him then and it’s unclear if that has changed in recent weeks. Will Beatty, a former Giant, and Jake Long represent the two most established free agents on the market. Beatty, who worked out for the Panthers last week, missed all of last season after tearing his pectoral. Long, the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft, has appeared in just 11 games over the past two years. He partook in four contests with the Falcons last season, though he didn’t garner any starts and has since seen a deal with the Ravens fall through after declining to sign an injury waiver.
If the Jets aren’t comfortable with Beatty, Long or any other free agents (Khalif Barnes and Jamon Meredith are a couple more possibilities), they could wait for a potentially more enticing tackle to hit waivers. Otherwise, either Ben Ijalana or Brent Qvale would fill in for Giacomini. Ijalana has seven appearances and zero starts on his resume. Qvale, meanwhile, suited up for all 16 of the Jets’ games in 2015, but the former undrafted free agent only made one start. Giacomini has started all 32 of the Jets’ contests at right tackle since 2014 and previously started in 33 of 41 appearances with the Seahawks.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.