Jets coach Robert Saleh stunned many on Wednesday when he announced tackle Max Mitchell was being placed on the non-football injury list.
Two days later, he confirmed why Mitchell would miss the rest of the season.
A report by ESPN was released Thursday that Mitchell had blood clots in his right calf and lung. John Mitchell, Max’s father, said in the report that his son has a hereditary condition called factory V Leiden but he is expected to make a full recovery.
Saleh said the team found out about Mitchell’s blood clots after the 27-22 loss to the Vikings last Sunday.
“It is very unfortunate,” Saleh said. “Thankfully, he has a chance to get healthy and get ready for next year.”
On Wednesday, Saleh declined to get in specifics about Mitchell being put on the non-football IL. After being selected in the fourth round of April’s draft, Mitchell started five games for the Jets this year at right tackle.
He was supposed to be used as a backup, but following the injuries to Mekhi Becton, Duane Brown and later George Fant, Mitchell became a starter as a rookie.
Mitchell missed four games after he injured his knee against the Steelers in early October and was placed on injured reserve. He returned Nov. 27 against the Bears as he came off the bench in relief of Cedric Ogbuehi, who injured his groin.
Mitchell left last Sunday’s game against the Vikings and was replaced by Fant after struggling in the first half.
“A doctor would have a lot more knowledge on that in terms of life-threatening and all of that,” Saleh said about Mitchell’s status. “It is shocking because you’re not expecting that, you’re expecting something completely different.
“Just thankfully for him, he has a chance and we will get him back soon.”
SALEH ON FACING RESTED BILLS
The Jets playing the Bills for the second time will be challenging in itself. The Jets facing a Bills team on 10-days’ rest presents even more of a challenge this Sunday on the road.
Buffalo defeated New England in its last game 24-10 on Dec. 1. That has allowed some Bills veterans to get healthy and to have a mini-bye week late in the season.
Meanwhile, the Jets are coming off a tough road loss in Minneapolis last Sunday. The Vikings also had 10 days to prepare for the Jets after defeating New England on Thanksgiving.
Buffalo will be looking for revenge as it lost to Gang Green 20-17 in Week 9 at MetLife Stadium. With playoff seeding and possible home-field advantage at stake for the Bills, Saleh understands the importance of Sunday’s game.
“It’s a division game, so it’s going to be a bear to play division opponents,” Saleh said. “Schemes are schemes.
“The guys they get back like [Matt] Milano, [Jordan] Poyer are special in every sense of the imagination from a defensive standpoint. Offensively, I feel they’re pretty healthy, they’re more healthy now. It’s going to be a challenge.
“To play a division opponent twice, it’s hard. It’s hard because you’re trying to come up with schemes that keep them on their heels, but at the same time, it’s a balance in terms of how you do things. They’re uber talented, they’re on 10 days’ rest, playing at home, it’s going to be fun.”
The good news for the Jets is they appear to be healthy heading into Sunday’s game against the Bills. However, Gang Green could be without one of its defensive linemen.
Micheal Clemons has missed practice all week as he has been dealing with an illness. He is questionable to play Sunday.
Clemons is one of many Jets players who have been hit with the flu bug. Fant, cornerback D.J. Reed and wide receiver Corey Davis missed Wednesday’s practice but returned on a limited basis Thursday. In 12 games, Clemons has 26 tackles and two sacks.
Safety Lamarcus Joyner, who has been limited because of a hip injury, is expected to play. The same with safety Ashtyn Davis (hamstring) and Duane Brown (shoulder).
Bills coach Sean McDermott said Buffalo defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and fullback Reggie Gilliam are both out for Sunday’s game against the Jets.