Camp injuries, virus protocols had some NFL teams scrambling

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A trainer examines Buffalo Bills running back Taiwan Jones after he took a spill during an NFL football training camp in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. (James P. McCoy/The Buffalo News via AP, Pool)

NEW YORK – Adam Gase probably could've saved some time after a few training camp practices by reading off the names of New York Jets players who weren't nursing injuries.

Hamstring pulls, core muscle injuries and banged-up knees. And, plenty more.

“I do think we’re not the only ones,” Gase said. “I think there’s a lot of teams in the league right now that are dealing with all kinds of injuries.”

He's right. Teams all over the league were sent scrambling during camp.

But the Jets' wide receivers group seemed to lose a man almost daily. Breshad Perriman (knee), Denzel Mims (hamstring), Vyncint Smith (core muscle), Jeff Smith (shoulder), Lawrence Cager (knee) and Braxton Berrios (lower back) all missed practice time this summer, leaving quarterback Sam Darnold to wonder some days who he was throwing to.

“We just had to figure out a way to kind of maneuver around practice, schedule-wise, and get everything we can out of these days,” Gase said. “Whether it’s a shorter practice or different kinds of situations or more individual (drills) or a walkthrough, whatever we’ve got to do to kind of get us ready, and then just keep trying to get healthy.”

And, that’s nothing new in the NFL, of course. Certainly not during training camp when players are going hard to make the roster as the start of the regular season rolls closer.

“That’s why you want to take it to the fine line, but at the same time, you don’t want to take that aggressive nature away," Washington coach Ron Rivera said. "You want to take the techniques that they’re working on and say, ‘OK, do a flyby or do a roll-off or a peel-off, something like that.’ And the next thing you know, you’re in the game and they don’t know how to react.