FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore, the team's best offensive player in recent weeks, was placed on injured reserve Saturday with a quadriceps injury.
The move came as a surprise.
Coach Robert Saleh had expressed optimism this week that Moore would be able to play Sunday against the New Orleans. But the injury got progressively worse through the week, a source said. The team is optimistic he can return for the final two games. He was listed as questionable.
It means the Jets (3-9) will face the Saints at MetLife Stadium without their two leading receivers and two leading rushers.
Earlier in the week, wide receiver Corey Davis was placed on injured reserve after season-ending surgery to repair a core-muscle injury. Running back Michael Carter (ankle) is on injured reserve and backup Tevin Coleman was declared out because he's in the concussion protocol.
Moore, a second-round pick from Ole Miss, didn't practice all week after injuring a quadriceps in last week's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He tested the quad on Friday in a side workout, and it evidently didn't respond well.
He's one of the few bright spots in the Jets' dreary season. Before Thursday night's game, Moore went into Week 14 with more touchdown catches (five) than any NFL wide receiver since Week 9. He was fifth in receiving yards (392) over that span. Overall, Moore leads the Jets with 43 catches for 538 yards and five touchdowns.
Without Moore and Davis, the Jets' outside receivers probably will be Keelan Cole and Denzel Mims, with Jamison Crowder in the slot. They also will use Braxton Berrios.
Vyncint Smith and D.J. Montgomery were also elevated on Saturday to help at receiver.
On Friday, backup Jeff Smith was added to the COVID-19 list. At running back, Ty Johnson figures to get most of the carries, with Austin Walter and La'Mical Perine also in the mix.