4:53pm: New York has officially placed the special teamer and cornerback Hardee on IR with today’s transactions. Taking his spot on the team’s active roster will be rookie fourth-round pick Carter Warren. The Jets drafted Warren this year out of Pittsburgh with the hope that he could provide some depth and eventually contribute to the offensive line. With starting guard Alijah Vera-Tucker going on IR, Warren’s activation is timely.
Additionally, the Jets have promoted cornerbacks Craig James and Tae Hayes from the practice squad as standard gameday elevations for tomorrow’s game. James will be facing his former team after playing for the Eagles in 2019 and 2020. With Hardee on IR and Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, and Echols all ruled out for tomorrow, James and Hayes should expect to see some action.
9:19am: The Jets will be without their special teams captain for at least the next month. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, special teams ace Justin Hardee suffered a hamstring injury during last Sunday’s win over the Broncos.
Hardee underwent surgery on his hamstring yesterday. The veteran is expected to miss four to six weeks while recovering from the operation, and he’s expected to land on injured reserve later today.
The former UDFA spent most of his first four years in the league with the Saints, and his special teams prowess earned him a three-year, $5.25MM contract with the Jets in 2021. Hardee didn’t miss a game through his first two seasons in New York, appearing in more than 80 percent of the Jets’ special teams snaps over that span (vs. a single defensive snap in 2021). Between the 2021 and 2022 campaigns, Hardee collected 26 tackles and one forced fumble, and his performance last season led to his first career Pro Bowl nod.
The injury comes at an unfortunate time for the Jets. As ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes, the team’s other gunner, Brandin Echols, won’t play Sunday against the Eagles while he nurses his own hamstring injury.
While the Jets keep getting hit with injuries, there is some good news on that front. Offensive tackle Duane Brown told Brian Costello of the New York Post that he hopes to play following the Jets’ Week 7 bye. The veteran offensive lineman has been limited to only a pair of games this season thanks to a hip injury that ultimately required a trip to injured reserve. It sounds like Brown is hoping to return to the lineup when first eligible in Week 8.