By Zach Braziller
A few days ago, the Jets expected to be without starting safety Jordan Whitehead for their first road game of the season.
His ankle was the size of a balloon and it appeared unlikely he would be able to face the Browns. Head coach Robert Saleh even said the newcomer was week-to-week.
But things changed fast for Whitehead. The swelling went down considerably and he was able to practice fully on Friday.
“I’m feeling good, feeling ready,” Whitehead told The Post. “It was swollen a lot, and it went down quickly.”
Whitehead is eager to get back out there to atone for mistakes he made in the season-opening loss to the Ravens. He blamed himself for two big plays Baltimore made in the second half that enabled Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to blow the game open.
“I just got to execute my part of the defense,” he said. “I’m in the back end, I’m the safety. Schematically, I should’ve been there.”
The Jets don’t appear to have been as fortunate with new tight end C.J. Uzomah, who is doubtful to play Sunday after hurting his hamstring in practice on Thursday. He was held without a catch in the opener last week.
Saleh said he would be a game-time decision, although the fact that the former Bengal didn’t practice on Friday seems to suggest he will be out.
Quarterback Zach Wilson (knee) will remain out as expected. Receiver Braxton Berrios (heel), offensive tackle George Fant (knee), defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers (toe) and punter Braden Mann (back) are questionable.
Mann struggled last Sunday, averaging 42.2 yards on six punts including a 20-yard shank, but his back wasn’t the cause of his uneven performance.
“That wasn’t the issue,” he said.
The Jets worked out four punters this week and signed Ty Long to the practice squad as a precaution. But Mann punted on Friday and believes he’ll be fine.
The Browns ruled out backup right tackle Chris Hubbard (elbow, illness) and listed starter Jack Conklin (knee) as questionable. If Conklin, who was limited in practice on Friday, can’t go, Cleveland will be extremely short-handed at a key position.