CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Corey Davis made the Jets look smart for signing him this offseason in his debut Sunday.
Davis, who was signed to a three-year, $37.5 million deal in March, had five catches for 97 yards and scored both Jets touchdowns.
Davis was one of the bright spots of the 19-14 loss to the Panthers. After the game, though, Davis was not going to pat himself on the back. As a veteran who came from a winning team with the Titans, he did say he likes the signs he sees from a young Jets team.
“We’re in the building process of this thing,” Davis said. “There’s going to be some growing pains. Obviously, we wish we could have had this one back but there’s a lot to learn from it.”
Davis and rookie quarterback Zach Wilson hooked up for passes of 35 yards, 22 yards and 20 yards. The 22-yarder was a touchdown where Wilson scrambled and found a wide-open Davis in the end zone.
“Zach was kind of scrambling. I was just trying to stay alive,” Davis said. “That’s something we work in practice, scramble drills and he hit me.”
Punter Braden Mann injured his left knee in the first quarter after teammate Daniel Brown (who was flagged for holding) blocked a Panther defender into him. He did not return to the game. That left kicker Matt Ammendola to punt in a pinch. He did a good job with six punts, for an average of 48.5 with two inside the 20 and a long of 65 yards.
“Terrific job by him,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “I thought he punted the heck out of it for not really practicing it. … He just stepped right in and did a really good job. Hats off to him. I wish we could have gotten him a field goal [opportunity] somewhere, but I thought he did a great job.”
Former Jets WR Robby Anderson only had one catch against his old team, but it was a big one. He caught a 57-yard touchdown pass from Sam Darnold in the second quarter to give Carolina a 9-0 lead. The Jets did not sign Anderson as a free agent in 2020, allowing him to leave for Carolina. Anderson admitted this game had special meaning for him.
“For sure, but more important was the win,” Anderson said. “I’m more excited about that. I got to make a bit impactful play and remind them.”
LT Mekhi Becton left the game with a knee injury in the third quarter. NFL Network reported early tests showed it was an MCL sprain, which means Becton should be back this season. With Becton out, George Fant moved to left tackle and Morgan Moses played right. Fant and Moses competed for the right tackle job throughout camp and Fant won the competition, getting the start Sunday. … LB Jamien Sherwood (foot), safety Lamarcus Joyner (elbow), LB Blake Cashman (hamstring) and Mann (left knee) all were injured.