Robert Saleh returns to Jets facility after COVID absence

Robert Saleh is back.

The Jets coach returned to the team’s training center on Wednesday after a week away while dealing with COVID-19. Saleh said he cleared the COVID protocols on Tuesday night and was back in the building Wednesday morning.

“It’s like the first day of school,” Saleh said. “Ready to go another 18 weeks.”

Saleh tested positive for COVID last Wednesday. He did not coach in Sunday’s win over the Jaguars. Tight ends coach Ron Middleton served as the team’s acting coach.

The Jets entered Wednesday with 25 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, but new protocols passed by the NFL on Tuesday should allow plenty of players to return before Sunday’s game with the Buccaneers.

Saleh said the following players from the list would be able to practice Wednesday: QB Joe Flacco, TE Kenny Yeboah, CB Michael Carter II, CB Lamar Jackson, DT Jonathan Marshall, LB Noah Dawkins, LB Hamsah Nasirildeen, DT Folorunso Fatukasi and DT Tanzel Smart.

Robert Saleh during the last Jets game he coached against the Dolphins on Dec. 19, 2021.

Saleh said they are hopeful that the following players could return before Sunday: WR Vyncint Smith, OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, S Ashtyn Davis and DE Hamilcar Rashed.

Saleh called the following players “50/50” in terms of playing Sunday: TE Tyler Kroft, CB Bryce Hall, LB LaRoy Reynolds, DT Quinnen Williams, DE Jabari Zuniga and CB Ken Webster.

As for rookie WR Elijah Moore, he is still recovering from a quad injury as well as COVID-19. Saleh said he has not been cleared to practice and Moore still needs to be cleared physically. He said he is “50/50” as well. WR Jamison Crowder (calf) will not practice Wednesday.