Robert Saleh has faith in Jets’ decimated safety group

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Jets safeties have been rocked by injuries this season.

New York has lost both its starters, Lamarcus Joyner and Marcus Maye, to season-ending injuries and has rotated a bevy of safeties throughout the lineup. Robert Saleh isn’t worried about the team’s lack of continuity and experience at the position, though. He expressed confidence in the three active safeties on the roster: Jarrod Wilson, Sharrod Neasman and second-year pro Ashtyn Davis.

The team also added 2020 UDFA Elijah Riley this week.

“That safety position has taken quite the hit in terms of just the amount of players that’ve come through there,” Saleh said Wednesday, adding that he hopes a few games together will lead to improved play.

Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich need to figure out what to do with the team’s depth chart quickly, though. The Jets allow 274.9 passing yards per game, which ranks fourth-most in the league. They have allowed 38 passing plays of at least 20 yards, which ranks second.

“Is it a challenge? Yeah,” Saleh added. “But do we have faith in our guys? Absolutely.”

Davis will likely step into the biggest role after Maye’s injury. The 2020 third-round pick is New York’s longest-tenured, active safety. He’s taking his development “week-to-week” after returning from an injury of his own in Week 4. He echoed Saleh, praising his fellow safeties but acknowledging they need more time together.

“We got guys who can play in our room,” he said Wednesday. “It’s just about building cohesiveness amongst us, getting reps in practice, getting the communication together and making sure we’re on the same page.”

That may be easier said than done. Between the safeties and cornerbacks, the Jets have an incredibly young and inexperienced secondary. Davis, Wilson and Neasman have just 561 total snaps this season. Riley’s addition to the safety room will add depth, but he mostly played special teams for the Eagles over the past two seasons.

Davis, despite his own inexperience, took it upon himself to be the leader with Maye and Joyner out.

“I’m going to do whatever I can within my power,” he said. “I’m not going to go outside my body but I’m going to make the plays that I can. I’m not going to try to play Superman, but I’m going to do what I need to do 100 percent.”

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