Jets’ Eric Decker in doubt to start 2017

As soon as the Jets announced that wide receiver Eric Decker would undergo two surgeries, not one, and that his combined convalescence time would amount to 14 months, many who follow the team were predictably worried.

Doctors recommended a hip procedure following their examination of Decker when he was placed on the injured reserve list on Oct. 12 with a shoulder injury. The recovery time for the first surgery is six months and is eight months for the latter, to be performed only after he is finally off his crutches.

When that was announced, many immediately presumed Decker would be out of the picture until the first month of the 2017 season before he could even participate in team activities.

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But it is worth remembering that doctors are not counting those 14 months necessarily together, in succession. Decker will not actually be on crutches for six full months, and only then have his second procedure, and then sit out an additional eight months after that.

So, the Jets shouldn’t actually be without Decker for 14 consecutive months, though it remains to be seen precisely how long he must remain on crutches before he can go ahead with the second operation. However long that takes will determine Decker’s full time away.

Still, however, it is a long time to be without their No. 2 option in the passing game, particularly for a team scoring an NFL-low 15.8 points per game and is one of two teams to not yet score 100 total points (95).

Head coach Todd Bowles is not yet conceding that Decker will be lost for too long.

“It’s probably too early for that,” Bowles said. “I think it will be close.”

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