Jets activate Dee Milliner, place Willie Colon on IR

ByRich Cimini via ESPN logo
Monday, November 16, 2015

On the eve of facing the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets made two significant roster moves, activating cornerback Dee Milliner from short-term injured reserve on Wednesday and placing starting right guard Willie Colon on IR.

The Jets need cornerback help because Antonio Cromartie officially is listed as doubtful. Cromartie, who suffered a deep thigh bruise Sunday, missed three straight days of practice. The nine-year veteran never has missed a game due to injury, but his Iron Man streak likely will end.

Cromartie will be replaced in the starting lineup by Buster Skrine or Marcus Williams. Skrine is questionable with shoulder and hand injuries, but he's expected to play.

The Jets had until 4 p.m. to make a decision on Milliner, who would've gone on season-ending IR if they hadn't activated him. Chances are, they would've made the move anyway, but Cromartie's injury situation made it a no-brainer.

Milliner, the ninth overall pick in 2013, underwent wrist surgery in the preseason. The former starter, plagued by injuries in his first two seasons, was projected at the start of training camp as the No. 4 corner in the Jets' new-look secondary, but he could have a larger role than anticipated.

Brian Winters will replace Colon in the lineup. Winters has 20 career starts, but only two at right guard -- both this season.

Colon's season is over, and quite possibly his career. The 32-year-old lineman, who missed the last game, has been dealing with chronic knee issues. He sprained an MCL in Week 3 and had been fighting to stay on the field.

As expected, the Jets ruled out strong safeties Calvin Pryor and Dion Bailey, both of whom are recovering from high-ankle sprains. They could start Williams, who struggled two weeks ago at safety, or Rontez Miles, just up from the practice squad.

Center Nick Mangold, who couldn't finish last week's game because of a lingering neck injury, is probable for Thursday night.

Injuries have created a roster crunch as the Jets (5-3) head into the second half of the season. On Tuesday, they put longtime kicker Nick Folk (quadriceps strain) on IR because they couldn't carry two kickers. They signed Randy Bullock as his replacement.

"There are a lot of moving parts, obviously," coach Todd Bowles said. "We have to sort through it and make the best decisions."