FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Undrafted rookies don’t typically play big roles for NFL teams in their first season. But Robby Anderson could be an exception.
With Eric Decker out this week (and potentially much longer) with a shoulder injury, Anderson will become the New York Jets' No. 3 wide receiver behind Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa, and the Jets might need him to make some big plays to defeat the Seattle Seahawks.
Sounds like a tall order, but Jets coach Todd Bowles expressed faith in Anderson on Friday.
"Robby made the team for a reason, because he made plays," Bowles said. "So we’re confident playing him."
The 23-year-old out of Temple was the Jets’ leading receiver in the preseason, posting 13 catches for 264 yards and three touchdowns. He played four snaps in Week 1 against the Bengals, six snaps in Week 2 against the Bills, and 11 snaps in Week 3 against the Chiefs, including his first two NFL catches (for 34 yards).
He’ll probably play a lot more against the Seahawks, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be awestruck going up against the likes of All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.
"I go against (Darrelle) Revis every day (in practice)," Anderson said. "So I’m not really too worried. I have a lot of respect for [Sherman], but I’m not worried about who’s in front of me, I’m out there to do my job."
At 6-foot-3, Anderson is a big target for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. And he put up big numbers in college: 70 catches for 939 yards last season as a redshirt senior, both numbers ranking him second on Temple’s all-time list.
His thin frame -- Anderson weighs just 190 pounds -- might have scared teams away in the draft. But he doesn’t lack in confidence, despite his undrafted status.
"I didn’t come here to just say I was a Jet," Anderson said. "I came here to potentially become a starter, and that’s what I worked hard for over the summer."
The hard work is paying off. If the Jets open up in a three-wideout set on Sunday, Anderson will likely get his first NFL start.
And it sounds like Fitzpatrick won’t be afraid to throw it Anderson’s way.
"The thing that has impressed me about [Anderson] all along is that he is not scared of the moment," Fitzpatrick said this week. "Sometimes that happens with the younger guys, but he’s done a nice job."