Jets' Denzel Mims eager to make his NFL debut on Sunday after dealing with 'difficult' hamstring injuries

Alex Smith
Mims NFL combine
Mims NFL combine

Heading into Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets would surely welcome any help they can get as look to avoid going 0-7.

And that boost could just come in the form of rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims, who appears on track to make his NFL debut on Sunday.

Mims missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury, and then suffered another hamstring injury when he was finally able to get back to practicing prior to Week 1.

But after being designated to return to practice last week, the second-round pick now seems primed to finally make his Jets debut.

“It feels good to get ready to make my debut,” Mims said Friday. “I’ve been doing everything I was asked, I did everything they tell me to do, and I’ve just been taking it day by day and trying to do everything I can to get healthy.

“I’m going to be happy. It’s going to be my first game, and I’m going to be very excited and have a lot of emotions before the game. But I’m just going to have to lock myself back in to get ready for the game so I won’t get distracted.”

The Baylor product was a popular pick among Jets fans, as GM Joe Douglas was even able to trade back in the second round and still land the talented receiver. With the Bears, Mims totaled 2,925 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns, including 12 during his senior season.

Having to watch the first six games from the sidelines has been tough, but Mims has been taking a day-by-day approach throughout his rehab.

“It’s been very difficult,” Mims said. “Of course, I want to go out there and play, but I want to do what’s best for the team and I want to do what they tell me to do. They know what’s best for me, so I’m just going to listen.”

Mims likely won’t be the only shot in the arm for the Jets’ offense on Sunday, as Sam Darnold will be back under center barring anything unforeseen, and Mims feels very comfortable with the rapport he and Darnold have already been able to develop.

“Even before I got hurt, I felt like I built a good connection with Sam," Mims said. "We both came back (from injuries) around the same time this time, and I feel like we just picked up where we left off, and we’ll continue to try to get better.”

The rookie receiver is “in a great place with the offense,” and it seems as if he’ll get his first chance to shine on Sunday against the Bills.