In his championship run with New England, Chris Hogan understood his role as a wide receiver and how timing was everything with the Bill Belichick machine.
With the Jets, the 31-year-old Hogan – who was penciled in a third or backup receiver — likely will still need to make an impact. They will soon recognize if he has enough left in his tank.
Hogan looms as likely starter for the Jets in Buffalo Sunday afternoon. Since the Jets signed him in mid-August, he has managed to stay healthy on a receiving corps that can’t seem to keep itself together and at a full complement.
Injuries to the offense was the major headliner for the Jets all summer. It’s not exactly the way you want to face a fully charged, and division-contender Bills’ team for the opener.
They are opening with an offense unit that isn’t at full strength against a deep Buffalo team and one that an injury or two away from finding itself in a precarious situation.
The Jets did have a passing moment of optimism on rookie second-round receiver Denzel Mims, who temporarily shook free from a nagging hamstring issue in camp.
Unfortunately, he re-aggravated it recently, and he is a scratch against the Bills.
So is rookie fourth-round running back La’Mical Perine, who has been bothered by injuries and he is out of the lineup Sunday.
Without Percine, the Jets should expect a big day from Le’Veon Bell as he and 37-year-old Frank Gore are the lone running backs.
The loss of both Mims and Perine are major disappointments as they are both viewed as budding stars who could have made a noticeable debut this weekend.
Receiver Breshad Perriman, who was viewed as the deep threat to replace Robbie Anderson, has been slowed lately with a knee issue and is questionable for the Bills.
If Perriman plays, it will be the first step toward the desired chemistry between him and Darnold that is a crucial piece of the offensive success this season.
That leaves the Jets with Hogan, slot and dependable Jamison Crowder and return specialist Braxton Berrios as the truly healthy options.
Darnold also has the tight end duo of Chris Herndon and Ryan Griffin as workable choices.
The pressure will be on the Jets’ defense to keep the Bills in check and to keep it close.
If they can, Darnold will need a big game from Bell and find a hero from the receiving corps.
Go to Hogan. He knows the feeling being on the big stage the Jets desire this season.
Photo: NY Jets