The New York Jets and Dee Milliner have high hopes for their defensive unit this season.
Milliner’s hopes for his individual season are so high, in fact, that he threw his hat in the ring for the “best cornerback in the NFL” debate. Whether that will come to be anytime soon, Milliner has the goods to be a very good, number one caliber defensive back in the NFL for a long time.
Unfortunately the start of his 2014 season might be clouded by injuries. Having already dealt with hamstring issues earlier in camp, Milliner sustained a high ankle sprain this week.
I’m told it’s a high-ankle sprain for Jets Dee Milliner. Those can be tricky and he’s vital as their top corner. Might be it for preseason
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 10, 2014
As NFL fans well know by now, these high ankle sprains are injuries that tend to linger for weeks and even months. Like oblique injuries for baseball players, the effectiveness of NFL players can be sapped well after they have returned from high ankle sprains. The season Roddy White had for the Atlanta Falcons in 2013 serves as the latest example.
Jets’ head coach and defensive guru Rex Ryan knows as well as anybody the freedom that is created by having a true lockdown corner. Ryan reaped the benefits of having that type of guy with Darrelle Revis for a number of years. Goodness knows that Ryan would love to have Milliner assert himself as the elite guy that he claims to be in 2014 to create opportunities for the rest of the Jets’ defense.
How this injury affects Milliner’s ability to be that guy will be a significant storyline, then, in the AFC East.