- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) - Wide receiver Jamison Crowder has been ruled out for the New York Jets’ game Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers because of a hamstring injury.

Crowder’s absence is a big blow to Sam Darnold and the offense, which struggled despite the receiver having seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening loss at Buffalo last Sunday.

“We’ll have to make some adjustments,” coach Adam Gase said Friday.

Crowder, who led the Jets last season with a career-high 78 catches, was listed on the team’s injury report last week with a hamstring issue but practiced fully and played.

Gase said Crowder was running earlier this week and “kind of pulled up.” He was limited at practice Wednesday, but sat out Thursday and Friday.

New York’s receiving group has been hit hard by injuries since training camp, but Gase was optimistic Crowder won’t need to go on injured reserve.

“It would just be hard for me to put him out there Sunday without him practicing Thursday and Friday,” Gase said. “Even if he did feel better Saturday, the last thing we want to do is set him back some more. Hopefully this will be more of a short-term thing than a long-term, but obviously everybody reacts a little different.”

In Crowder’s absence, Braxton Berrios is expected to take over the role as the primary slot receiver. Gase said Berrios has developed a bit of chemistry with Darnold over the past few seasons, particularly in practice.

“Crowder’s been probably our best player on offense the last two years,” Gase said. “Berrios, his skillset fits what we do. We always try to develop a role for him throughout the week, but we’ve had to do it where Crowder always stays on the field because they play the same spot. I’m just glad he’s here because I think it’s rare to have two slots that can be starters in this league.”

The only other healthy wide receivers on the active roster are Breshad Perriman and Chris Hogan. Lawrence Cager, Josh Malone, D.J. Montgomery and Jaleel Scott are on the practice squad and candidates to be elevated for the game.

The Jets will also be without running back Le’Veon Bell, who is on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Frank Gore is expected to start in Bell’s place, but there’s optimism that rookie La’Mical Perine could make his NFL debut.

The fourth-round draft pick out of Florida has been sidelined since Aug. 30 with an ankle injury. He was limited at practice all week and listed as questionable.

“I’m hoping we get through today and he feels good,” Gase said. “I’m hoping that everything keeps trending in the direction it’s trending right now because I’d love to see this kid out there playing.”

Linebackers Avery Williamson (hamstring) and Tarell Basham (hip) were also limited and listed as questionable. Quarterback Joe Flacco (neck) was also limited, but was ruled out for the game. Gase said Mike White will again serve as Darnold’s backup.


More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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